Hello! How was your weekend? Great? Mine was better than great. Why? Because I got baptized on Saturday night at Gateway Church! It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for quite awhile, but just never took the opportunity to do until this weekend. And what’s more, my husband, James, was able to be the one to do it! It was so amazing to be able to share this experience with him – it is something I will definitely never forget!
Quite honestly I had a long list of excuses and reasons not to get baptized in my head, but I finally decided to ignore those negative thoughts and [quite literally] take the plunge! Baptism isn’t a means for salvation – that only comes through a personal relationship with Christ – but it is so very important to living a Christian lifestyle.
But, if you’re anything like me, and you’ve always kind of wanted to be baptized but never actually done it, you probably also have a list of objections in your head opposing water baptism. And sadly those objections usually win out, making baptism a difficult thing for you to grasp. It that’s you – don’t worry! I’m here to help de-bunk some of the objections that might be rolling around in your head, and encourage you to go through with water baptism, no matter what stage of life you may be in. Here are a few of the objections I struggled with, and how I overcame them…
I was baptized as an infant, and I didn’t think I needed to do it again. While I was sprinkled as an infant, that was more an act of my parents dedicating me to the Lord, and committing themselves to raising me in a Christian home and environment – it wasn’t really me making any sort of life altering decision at all. I mean, come on, I was only about 3 months old or something like that. Choosing to be baptized as an adult symbolizes that I am committing to following Christ, and dedicating the rest of my life to serving Him and seeking His will for my life.
I was already a Christian. And I didn’t want people to think I wasn’t saved or something before now. Oddly enough, this is something I dealt with internally before taking the plunge. I thought baptism was something new believers did, and since I was already a believer, why should I go through the process? Maybe I should have done it a long time ago, back when I first became saved. But if I was baptized now people might think I wasn’t really a Christian before this point. This objection is completely untrue of course, but I didn’t really know any better. I wasn’t raised in a church that practiced water baptism, so I wasn’t all too familiar with the process. What I know now is that anyone can be baptized – whether you are a new believer, old believer, or someone who is just rededicating your life to the Lord. You don’t have to fit into a specific category or fill a unique requirement. Baptism is just about you giving yourself to the Lord, and committing your life openly to Him. And there is nothing to be ashamed of there!
It’s scary. Sure, getting up in front of people and then being dunked into a tank of water seems a little scary. But honestly, everyone there is on your side, and they are rooting for you! Everyone watching was cheering for those being baptized; encouraging them as they took this bold step in their relationship with the Lord. The atmosphere was so encouraging and uplifting that it was really quite difficult to be nervous. It really wasn’t that bad – and the water wasn’t even cold!
Is it really necessary? For a long time I didn’t really think so. Like I said, I was baptized as an infant and had accepted Christ into my heart at a young age, so I didn’t really think I needed to be water baptized as well. But, the scriptures are pretty clear on the subject…
“In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
Baptism symbolizes our new life in Christ – the old has gone and the new has come! When we are submerged in the water, we leave behind the baggage of the past, and as we come up from the water, we are transformed into new creations in Christ.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
Baptism is something that the church has been doing since it’s beginning in the book of Acts. Believers have been doing it for ages, and if we are to follow in their footsteps, and do church the way God intended us to, we too should be baptized just as they were.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Even Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist before he began his full time ministry. If it was necessary for Jesus, than it must also be both necessary and beneficial for us!
And now, I can personally tell you that it was both necessary and worth it. Ever since Saturday night I’ve felt freer, lighter in spirit, and more joyful than I was a few days ago. I know trials are unavoidable, and I won’t always be as light as I feel now, but I can honestly say that I feel closer to God than I ever have, and I don’t think that’s going to change. I have new energy for life and motivation to go after the dreams and passions God has planted in my heart. I feel better equipped to face whatever may come my way, and empowered to passionately pursue my calling in Christ.
If water baptism is something that you’ve never done before, I would urge you to pray about it. Maybe you’re dealing with some of the same objections that I had initially. Don’t let those negative thoughts stop you! I wish I would have been baptized sooner, but I wouldn’t trade the experience I had on Saturday night with the Lord for anything in the world. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take the plunge – it will be the best decision you’ve ever made!