Baptism holds profound significance in the life of a believer and Christian community. However, as with any act of worship, it can sometimes lose its depth and become a routine and ritualistic practice. In the familiar, we may inadvertently overlook the immense power and transformation that baptism represents.

An interesting analogy comes from Nicander, an ancient Greek poet who used the culinary art of pickling vegetables to illustrate baptism’s importance. He used the Greek word “bapto” to describe dipping the vegetable into boiling water and “baptizo” for leaving it permanently immersed in vinegar. This connection is intriguing, especially considering that every occurrence of “baptism” in the New Testament uses “baptizo.”

Nicander’s use of these words vividly portrays a spiritual truth. Though you may have once been “bapto’d” or dipped into water, the reality of baptism is that when you embraced faith in Christ, you were permanently immersed in Him. Christian baptism is not a one-time event but an ongoing state of being surrounded by Christ like a vegetable forever enveloped in vinegar. And just as a pickled vegetable takes on the essence of the vinegar, our baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus immerses us in His life, transforming us to be more Christ-like than our former selves. This transformation is not brought about by the physical act of baptism itself but by a life of faith in Jesus, empowered by His Spirit.

In Romans 6, Paul asks, “Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Paul is not preaching the need for baptism to already dunked people. Instead, he’s encouraging them to remember its reality, even as they may be struggling with sin. He is pointing them to the truth that they are immersed in Christ; in this, they can find the power to overcome and live in faithful obedience to Him. So when you see a jar of pickles, remember baptism is not just a dip but an eternal immersion of one’s life, forever united with Christ.