September on My Mind- Jump In, Water's Fine!
“We were therefore buried with Jesus through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”- Romans 6:4
We are on the doorsteps of September and there is no better way to enter VISION MONTH, than with what is one of the first steps and signs of newness for a believer…WATER BAPTISM. This Sunday (September 1st) we will be having an End of Summer Faith Celebration where we will rejoice in God’s goodness through worship, sharing testimonies, and seeing people enter the waters of baptism. Baptism is one of the most joyous moments we get to witness in the life of a person. To see the public profession of one’s inward devotion to Christ motivates me. To see the individual come out of the water with a greater level of joy and freedom blesses me. To see the celebration that all in the church feel when a life is changed invigorates me. As we prepare for this powerful time on Sunday, I want to share about the importance of water baptism based on what we see in the Bible.
First, baptism is a step of OBEDIENCE. If a Christian has ever questioned the merit or necessity of being baptized, they should no look no further than the life of their Savior. In Matthew 4 Jesus comes to John the Baptist requesting to be baptized before entering His public ministry. In verse 15 He says, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” As we read the entire account of Jesus’ baptism, we will see that John the Baptist declared it, Jesus demonstrated it, and Father God delighted in it. That is good enough for me and all the validation necessary to confirm every believer should follow Jesus into the waters!
Baptism also is a sign of ALLEGIANCE and NEWNESS. Not only was baptism the starting point for Jesus, but it was also the starting point on the day the Church was birthed. In Acts 2:41 it says, “Those who accepted His message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” The spiritual significance of baptism should not be missed. It is a physical act that symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus. When a person is submerged into the water it represents a dying to self, to the old person, to the flesh. And when that person comes up from the waters it speaks to a rising into newness of life. On that day those three thousand heard the message Peter delivered by the Holy Spirit, they were moved to repentance and faith, choosing baptism as what follows belief and a complete commitment to Christ.
Finally, baptism releases UNSPEAKABLE and UNPARALLELED JOY. There is another story in Acts about an Ethiopian eunuch who was traveling home, reading a portion of Scripture but lacking understanding. A disciple named Philip arrives on the scene to show the Ethiopian that the Scriptures speak of and point to Jesus (Acts 8:35). Upon seeing water, the eunuch has his chariot come to a halt in order to respond immediately to the gift of faith he was given. It is what happens coming out of the water that speaks to the rich deposit of the Spirit in those who are baptized. Acts 8:39 says, “When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” A man who started his journey with no understanding, moves onward and homeward with complete joy. How amazing is our God and the gift of salvation that He gives!
Perhaps, this is the moment that the Holy Spirit is calling you to JUMP INTO THE WATER.
This Sunday is the right time to experience the newness and next steps God has for your faith. Who should take the jump into the waters with Jesus?
Anyone who has never been baptized.
Those who were baptized as infants/young children, who are making a personal decision as an adult (this does not dishonor what your parents did, it validates it).
Someone who has a sense that there is a greater level of fellowship, commitment, calling, and breakthrough needed.
Jump in with Jesus!
The water is fine!
You will never be the same!