And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Matt. 28:18-20
My Granddaughter was recently baptized by her Pastor Dad. This dialogue preceded –
Pastor Brett: “Lyla, Baptism shows us two things. What does it show us about Jesus?” Lyla: “It shows that he died, was buried, and was resurrected.” Pastor Brett: “What does Baptism show, what is it a picture of, about you?” Lyla: “It shows that my sins are washed away”. Brett: “Does Baptism wash our sins away?” Lyla: “No.” Brett: “How are our sins washed away?” Lyla: “By trusting in Him.” With tears in my eyes as I write this, I could just end right here. But alas, I’m sworn to a word minimum… and I do have a thing or two to add.
I was baptized many years ago in a little Baptist church in eastern Tennessee. Christ had laid claim to my life way before that (Ephesians 1), but as a young man, I had other plans. It’s been a journey, a rocky road, and I have wins and losses along the way just like any weathered warrior.
I’ve learned that while baptism is not salvation, I have always considered it the next step. Not only because Christ commanded it as the next step, but because it is a natural progression into the life-long process of sanctification, which is really where our relationship with Jesus becomes truly rich and valuable to us as well as Him. It is an outward display of what has happened on the inside. It is an integral part of our commitment to love Him as much as He loves us.
For a long time, I didn’t take the steps necessary (after baptism) to allow God to take me to the next level. It cost me in so many ways. It cost me a marriage. It cost me a brighter future. Most of all, it cost me a right relationship with Christ. Time I can never get back…
Thankfully, God is sovereign. Over time, He got my attention. I cried out to him, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I’m broken. Please forgive me and use me to build your Kingdom. What do I have to do?” The answer came back, “Child, you just did it. Welcome home.” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Daily Battle Order:
Kingdom Man, if you haven’t been baptized, do it. When you do, follow through on starting a serious relationship with Jesus. Examine the implications of that public show of love and commitment. If you have been baptized, start the process anew and pray for strength to follow through. God loves you so much. You can do this!
Tomorrow we’ll be wrapping up this series with several powerful and moving testimonies from the via TJC team! You won’t want to miss this!