Do you remember the day of your water baptism? I remember mine so clearly. I was a rising freshman in High School. I had to run home between Sunday school and Worship Service to get a change of clothes. The Interim Pastor at our church baptized me. I remember thinking his white robe was so bright. I did not know that he was wearing waders underneath the robe. I nailed down my decision for Jesus to be my Savior when I was baptized. I still have my baptism certificate and a Bible that the church gave me.
Few doctrines are more central to our faith than believer’s baptism. Our denomination got its name because of the emphasis we put on believer’s baptism. Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary says, “Baptism is a powerful form of gospel proclamation of what Christ has done; it is a “word in water” testifying to the believer’s participation in the death and resurrection of Christ.” Our water baptism is an outward symbol of our inward transformation. Baptism is putting on a wedding ring for all the world to see. In the New Testament 5 things are involved in conversion.
1. Repentance – The turning away from sin.
2. Faith – Forsaking the old life and walking by faith, not by sight.
3. Confession – A verbal proclamation in prayer that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:9,13
4. Regeneration – The filling of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life.
5. Water baptism – Identifying with Christ and a body of believers.
In Romans 6:3-4 it says, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” The gospel of Christ is presented in a public way every time someone is baptized. We identify with His death, burial and resurrection. Michael Green has said, “Baptism means death to the person I once was, self-centered, unforgiven, alienated from the life of God. Good-bye to all of that.” Our baptism is the final blow to sin, the nailing down of our decision to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. In closing, someone has said, “Baptism by immersion is the gospel in action, the gospel as a motion picture.”
Blessings in celebration of your water baptism!
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister