THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized…’”
Acts 2:38 (ESV)
THE FIRST DAY OF CHURCH: COMMANDED TO BE BAPTIZED
Rena was 3 years old when she went to her first baptismal service. It was new for her and a bit mystifying. As events transpired, she looked up at her father with surprise in her eyes, “Daddy, he pushed that guy under the water? Why did he do that?” The father tried to quietly answer her question during the service; but his answer did not satisfy little Rena. So, when they got home he attempted a fuller explanation. “Well people do bad things; and they are being baptized to let everyone know they are now going to be good. The water symbolizes Jesus’ washing people’s sins away. When they come out ‘clean,’ they are going to try to be ‘good.’” Rena thought about that for a moment and then asked the simple question, ‘Why didn’t Pastor Bob just spank him?’ (by Bob Beasley)
Baptism isn’t a substitute for a good spanking. But baptism is symbolic of the new birth and spiritual cleansing we have experienced as a result of repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Jesus as our personal Savior. It is the way the church started and the way believers were publicly identified as Christ followers. Baptism wasn’t optional for the New Testament church. If someone decided to follow Christ they were baptized. The baptism didn’t make them a Christian but anyone who was a Christian was baptized.
I (Larry) remember being baptized as a 9th grader. I had made the decision to follow Christ earlier in life with simple childlike faith, but I had never been obedient to God’s word with baptism. My parents had dedicated me to the Lord as a baby but I had to make my own choice to follow Jesus. Do you have a baptism story? Did your baptism come after you realized who Jesus was, what He did for you and personal faith and repentance? If not make that decision today and join us this coming Sunday for our Baptism Bash. Go to the church website to register: http://northstarchurch.org/baptismbash.