Jay's eDevotionals  

Apr 8

The Beauty of Baptism!

Hong Wang stood publicly and unashamedly beside me to proclaim her loyalty to Christ on Easter Sunday Morning in the baptistery of FBC Montgomery. A few days earlier, Hong embraced Jesus as her Savior when she heard the gospel message at a gathering for International Students.  The pastor explained that being baptized constitutes the next step of obedience after choosing to follow Christ.  She did not hesitate or procrastinate—she took the plunge! Hong wrote to us, ““I am Hong Wang. I am so glad to become a Christian. I was born in 1966. I will go back to my motherland of China where I will believe in God and read the Bible. There is a church in my hometown of Wuhan City in Hubei province. I will go there for worship every Sunday!” 

Jesus set the pattern for His followers with His baptism. We recently traveled to Israel and entered the waters of the Jordan River.  It was easy to relive the moment when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (notice that the prophet was a BAPTIST).  The Savior inaugurated His public ministry by being immersed into His mission. Jesus completed His time on earth with the direct orders for His disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19-20)  Christ commands that new disciples immerse themselves in the Lord’s pardon, purpose and power as they start their adventure of following the Savior.

Christ’s Church erupted into existence in Acts 2. The defining common-denominator evidencing the reality of the believers’ commitment to Christ was their baptism. “Peter said to them, ’Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’…Those who received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousands souls.”  (Acts 2:38, 41)

Over the years it has been my privilege to baptize nearly 3000 people. I have not lost anyone yet! It is a magnificent experience to share a new believer’s baptism and watch them slip below the surface of the water into a liquid grave to re-enact the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. A baptism constitutes a silent sermon. You are saying that the same Lord Jesus who died for you has now arisen in you. You are saying: I AM ALL IN! You declare through your baptism that you are unashamed of Jesus. Baptism is like putting on a wedding ring because you are advertising that you are committed! Baptism is not a declaration of perfection but of your new direction.

Have you been baptized? If not—why not? Go for it! Take the plunge. Join the ranks of Jesus, Hong Wang and Christ-followers through the centuries who have summoned the faith, humility and courage to stand for the Savior who died for you.

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