“Why is Baptism such a big issue for a Christ-Follower”? I have been asked that question many times in over 30 years of ministry. Sometimes- I forget the explain the why of baptism and focus on “just do it”. But, I believe, if we have a big enough “Why” – it changes the whole conversation. Believer’s Baptism means we are publically identifying with Jesus as our Savior- unashamedly! Think about it – it sounds a little strange when an adult gets in a big tub or goes to the ocean and another person says something like- “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. That seems awkward and yet it is so powerful. It is a mark of obedience and announcement of new life.
About 5 years ago Church at the Bay met together at Honeymoon Island for a baptism experience. I think we baptized about 15 people. We gathered together to pray for those who were just baptized and then as the group headed back to the beach – a great day was going to get better! A lady walked up and asked, “What are you doing”- I explained that we were a church group and we just baptized a group of people. She asked, “What does someone need to do to get baptized”? I explained that baptism was a command of Jesus to believers and that the prerequisite was trusting Jesus as your Savior. She told me, “I have recently trusted Jesus and I want to get baptized- will you baptize me”? I said sure – and asked some people to come back to the water. I invited her to Church at the Bay and encouraged her to find a church to call home. I wondered if we would ever see her again. About 3 weeks ago a lady was walking toward me with a BIG smile before our worship service. I didn’t recognize her until she said, “Hi, I am that lady you baptized several years ago at the beach”. That was so cool- a couple weeks earlier I had thought about her and wondered what ever happened to her. It was a great experience- and even better- she has been attending the last few weeks. Go God!
So what is the BIG why behind baptism?
- Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3)
- Jesus last words to His church were, “ 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
I really believe that if Jesus was baptized and He told us to be baptized- we need to obey and identify publicly with Him. Is that a BIG enough WHY for you? If so- we will be baptizing Sunday March 3rd – email Blaine@churchatthebay.com to get more details.
Here is a brief video about baptism…