In Christianity, where actual salvation is a confession and inward acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice to release us from the penalty of our sins and grant us access to God’s Eternal Presence (in a nutshell), baptism is the outward, or public, symbol of our dedication and submission to Jesus Christ in our “becoming.” We openly declare our obedience to Jesus Christ, and that we become a part of the fulness of His People – the Church. We bring to His Church the gifts we have received from Holy Spirit, as well as having full right to benefit from the love and gifts given to others who have submitted themselves to Jesus as their Savior. Further, we then owe a portion of demonstrated love to our personal enemies, and those who have yet to accept Jesus’ sacrificial gift of eternal life in His Presence.
As Christians, Jesus calls us to act like Him in word and deed. John 14:15: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
So, we as Christians being baptized:
1 Obey Christ as loving followers.
2 Present a public, joyful witness to ourselves, and others, of our forgiveness and commitment.
Both of my children came early into God’s Kingdom, unlike their mother. The church we went to at the time did not allow children under 10 years old to be baptized, thinking it difficult to be sure of the child’s ability to understand their commitment. My daughter gave her life to Christ at a very young age, and was heartbroken for years at this rule. But she never wavered. She led many friends to The LORD. Finally, at a summer camp that I attended, they were having baptisms, and Rhea was watching, tears streaming down her little face as she longed to go forward. Our worship leader, with my permission, publicly witnessed for her testimony as a Christian and asked that she be allowed to be baptized. She was so happy to walk in front of all those people into the lake, give her testimony, and take the plunge!
I have heard it said that baptism is of little importance, and can be ignored. If baptism isn’t a big deal, why put it off? Is baptism salvation? It’s the public part of salvation – our public display of submission to and joyful celebration of salvation’s power in our life. Normally, it is the first decision we make in following Jesus’ examples. Let me ask an intense question of you. Why would you NOT want to be baptized? You don’t have to tell me the answer, but you should pray about it deeply. If you are struggling with doubts about your faith, please talk to someone, but don’t let peer pressure or private doubts keep you from following Jesus. We all have them, by the way.
For those of you who are still under the authority of parents or guardians who are asking you not to be baptized, know that God sees your heart, and you may live at peace walking with Christ as you are able until the proper time comes.
Weddings and baptisms…I always cry. Always. Such joy is just not meant to be contained. It is meant to spill out, overflow, and get others wet in the process.
Go ahead – overflow!
March 19, 2021
P.S. If you want to look at this subject more deeply, there will be a bible study posted shortly in our Digging Deeper
section of the dropdown list.