Good morning. It is Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.
I was 9 years old when I was baptized, for the first time. It was in a shallow creek, surrounded by trees and shade.
I was rebaptized at the age of 19, after having left the church and coming back.
Truth be told, I have been in and out of church so many times, I would have to stop and do some serious calculations. And because of that, I was baptized a third time with my husband in early 1988.
Three times I went down into the watery grave, and three times I was raised, cleansed from my sins.
But why get baptized?
I know good Christians who do not believe in baptism. But let’s look at what the Bible says about the subject.
Jesus was baptized.
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” Matthew 3:16 NKJV
Jesus told us to be baptized.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV
Baptism doesn’t “save” us, but it is an outward sign of an inward decision to follow Jesus.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…” Acts 10:44-48 NIV
I referenced a “watery grave” at the beginning of today’s writings, that is because baptism symbolizes our death to sin.
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4 NKJV
So, if baptism is a symbol of washing away one’s sins, of becoming a new person, why was Jesus baptized? Jesus had no sin. Even John the Baptist was surprised at Jesus’ request to be baptized.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” Matthew 3:13-14 NKJV
There was no reason for Jesus to go down into the watery grave…or was there?
“There are several reasons why it was fitting for John to baptize Jesus at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus was about to embark on His great work, and it was appropriate that He be recognized publicly by His forerunner. John was the “voice crying in the wilderness” prophesied by Isaiah, calling people to repentance in preparation for their Messiah (Isaiah 40:3). By baptizing Him, John was declaring to all that here was the One they had been waiting for, the Son of God, the One he had predicted would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11)…(Source: gotquestions.org)
Tomorrow I will share with you one of my favorite “baptism” stories from the Bible. The story of Philip and the Ethiopian.