From time to time, worship leaders run into dead ends when trying to find a song that makes a particular point. We have lots of songs that allude to baptism, but many of them were not actually written with baptismal regeneration in mind–baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I believe that the New Testament teaches that baptism connects us with the work of Jesus, and as we are immersed and rise from the water, we reenact the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, raised as forgiven disciples. Romans 6 tells this story much more eloquently and authoritatively than I ever could.
Along this vein, we have very few hymns that talk specifically about baptism and our first steps as a young disciple. This being the case, and since I enjoy the challenge and the art of hymn writing, here is one of my original contributions in that area:
Holy New Creation
Long ago, the Prince of heaven
Came to Earth to save the lost;
Once, for all, His life was given–
Grace, at such enormous cost!
Mortal chains could not restrain Him,
Death forever lost its sting;
Earthly grave could not contain Him:
Jesus Christ, the risen King.
As I plunge into the river,
I surrender my control;
Burying my past forever,
Raised with Jesus, pure and whole.
By His calling and election,
Dead to all my former ways;
Raised to follow His direction,
I will serve Him all my days.
Now a holy new creation,
By His grace, I bear His name
And begin His transformation–
I will never be the same!
Now my path is growing clearer,
—Narrow, yet it glows with grace–
Heaven draws me ever nearer;
Joy awaits me in that place.
(music is also composed, pending editing and publication on http://www.songsofthechurch.org)