Today was awesome! We saw Carol Cunningham baptized into Christ today! She was so excited! She came out of the water and said that it felt fantastic! She wanted to do it again! She’s right. It does feel great to get your sins forgiven and wiped away for eternity. I’m excited to see her grow in the lord in the coming months and years. In you didn’t know, we strongly all adults who are baptized to go through a 6 week course on the basics of Christianity called Fresh Start. In that class we explain what baptism is all about. I thought I would share a little bit from the class.
Baptism can be described in one word: Surrender. The Bible calls on us to surrender to God in 4 specific areas.
- You surrender mentally to God by placing your faith in Jesus. Acts 17:31 says, “Believe in the lord Jesus and you will be saved.” Faith is that mental decision that says I am trusting Jesus to forgive my sons and to lead me through life and eternity.
- You surrender verbally through confession. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” This isn’t confession like going to a priest. This is a confession that we recognize our need for Jesus. We do this on our church when I ask them to repeat Peter’s confession of Jesus before baptism.
- We surrender our will through repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” This is saying, “I’m going to follow you God. I’m going to let you be the leader in our life.”
- We surrender physically through baptism. Someone asked Peter one time, “What must I do to be saved?” Peter told them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When you go down in the water you are surrendering yourself to God, as Jesus did as he went into the tomb. When come back out you are raised into a new life into Jesus, just as Jesus was on Easter so many years ago.
By the way, you don’t get your life right before you get baptized into Christ. You get baptized to clean up your life. Baptism was not invented for perfect people, but for sinful people (like you and me).