Several times as year we celebrate baptism as a church. The question is “why?”
Here are 4 dimensions to baptism and 3 objections!
Did you know that in Christ you are a new creation!? That while you were once dead in your sin you are now fully alive in Jesus. This isn’t some sort of theological concept that is difficult to experience but is a fact that is as true about you as the breath in your lungs.
On the other hand, this fact can seem detached or irrelevant. Baptism is a significant opportunity to identify and announce the truth about you. It’s a recognition that in Jesus you are a new creation. Through baptism you are symbolizing externally what is true about you internally. Entering the water represents that fact that in our sin we are dead. When we are raised out of the water it represents that we have been raised from death to life.
You are no longer a slave to sin.
Ephesians 2:1-20, Romans 6:1-4, Colossians 2:12
Fundamentally baptism is about obedience. We don’t like that word very much – it requires us to let go of our ideas, our plans and actually submit and listen to what Jesus is calling us to. We love the idea of purpose and fulfillment that is found in Jesus, right? However the challenging truth is that purpose and fulfillment are grounded in obedience.
Baptism is fundamentally a response of obedience to the command of Jesus. He commissioned the church to go into the world and baptize those in his name.
If you are a follower of Jesus Baptism is a step of obedience that you are called to take. Period.
This is not about salvation, it’s not about pleasing God or earning church points. It’s about obeying the things Jesus is calling you to do.
Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38
In our culture faith is largely encouraged to be a private affair. However, in scripture there is no such idea. We are called to boldly declare to the world around us the great and incredible things that Jesus has done in us.
Baptism is an opportunity to boldly and simply declare to those around you what Jesus has done in you. It’s an opportunity to verbalize the truth of Jesus in a simple, concise and clear way. There is nothing quite like Baptism were you can so clearly demonstrate and announce your faith in Jesus publicly. When combined with obedience it can become a real building block towards seeing the purpose of Jesus fulfilled in your life.
Romans 10:9-10, Acts 22:15-16
Baptism is a joyful occasion where we stand as one body, one church and celebrate together the hope that we have in Jesus. Baptism is a celebration! We are reminded that we are not alone in this journey but are surrounded by brothers and sisters who are committed to walking with us, holding us accountable and supporting us in the journey.
There are a couple of common objections that I hear regarding baptism. While everyone has a unique story and considerations regarding baptism there are a few things that I can speak to:
Many people are afraid of baptism because they are afraid of public speaking. While understandable, do not allow this to be a barrier. As a church we will help you navigate the process so that you can be bold in your declaration. You don’t have to tell your whole story, although it’s great if you do!
2) CHILD BAPTISM
Many people are baptized as children. While this is a significant and important process for the family involved, on the basis of scripture it’s pretty clear that baptism is about a response of obedience and a declaration of who you are in Jesus. Baptism is always subsequent to placing your faith in Jesus. In practice being baptized as a child is more of dedication on the behalf of the parents to raise their child to know and follow Jesus – an honourable thing to be sure.
That said, as a church we believe that baptism is about the individual being called to respond in faith and give their life to Jesus – something that is not possible for a baby.
This can be a sensitive topic and my encouragement would be to sit down and ask some questions about it with a pastor at LIFT.
3) AM I READY?
There are three questions that need to be answered to answer this question.
- Do you believe Jesus in the son of God, that he lived, died and was raised to life after 3 days and that salvation is found in him alone?
- Have you repented from your sin and put your faith in Jesus?
- Do you commit to following Jesus faithfully for the rest of your life?
What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized