Sunday, September 9, 2007. That’s the day that I was baptized! I’d been a committed follower of Christ for around 10 years at that point, yet I had never been baptized as a believer. I was baptized as an infant and attended church occasionally growing up, but it was in high school that I came to understand the Gospel and what it means to be a follower of Christ. There was a clear transformation that took place in my life during that time. I understood the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9 and put my faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross rather than my own “good” works.
As I grew in my faith, I considered being baptized as a believer, but never followed through with it. I had a lot of excuses – I didn’t want to offend my parents, I was nervous about public speaking (good thing I got over that one!), the timing wasn’t right, I didn’t really know the Pastor and that was important to me, and the list could go on and on. Perhaps the excuse underneath it all was that I knew I had crossed the line of faith and others did as well…so did I really need to be baptized? The short answer: YES! At the root of the decision to be baptized is obedience. As I studied the New Testament it was clear to me that the pattern in the early church was belief then baptism (sometimes immediately afterward). What’s more, I saw that Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples – a process that he says involves baptism (Matthew 28:18-20). I had known the importance of baptism for years, but had delayed the decision. God began to reveal to me that my indecision was a form of disobedience (James 4:17). I knew what I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t doing it. In John 14:15, Jesus says that we express our love to him by obeying what he commands. I was striving to obey God in every area of my life, why was this any different? I knew I needed to stop coming up with excuses and obey God by being baptized.
The day I was baptized I felt a tremendous sense of relief. I finally did what I knew God had been calling me to do. It was a powerful moment where I was able to encourage others as I shared my faith story and was baptized by my pastor and friend – Dave Corlew.
Let me encourage you to take this important step of obedience and plan to be part of our next baptism service on Sunday, 3/24. There’s a mandatory class on Sunday, 3/17 during the 10:30am service. The class will involve a scriptural study of baptism and practical preparation for the service. In case you missed it, here’s a short video of some of our recent baptisms.