FOLLOWING JESUS IN BAPTISM
If you were suddenly transplanted to North America from some remote part of the world and the first thing you saw on your television here was a strange event where large, uniformed, happy men were dumping a huge bucket of Gatorade and ice on another man you might think it was an odd sport, this game they called football! Why all the hoopla, the bucket, and the soggy ride home?
What you would likely discover later was that it was simply a celebration after a big win. It was the end of a grueling competition and the winning team wanted to celebrate what had been accomplished by pouring a bucket of cold liquid over the coach’s head. Pure joy, pure celebration, lots of water. And this practice is pretty much a tradition now in all the big game wins in pro and college football. It marks a milestone and a memory.
If you were from an unchurched or irreligious background and saw a Christian baptism for the first time, you might think some of the same things. What does getting dunked in water have to do with knowing God or following Jesus?
Well, for Christ Followers, it’s simply another kind of celebration. The people being baptized have just had the biggest win of all – they’ve put their faith in Christ and it’s changed their lives, both now and for eternity. Plus, somebody else actually paid a grueling price for this to even be possible (Jesus dying on the cross). They accepted what He offered and now they are beginning a new life and relationship with Him – full of joy and hope…yet risk and challenge too.
There are 3 things we always celebrate as a church:
- New life in Christ
- Growing as a disciple of Christ
- Baptisms (which bridge the two)
During baptism, other Christians are celebrating with those being baptized because they've experienced the same life change. We’re all celebrating the big win as a team, a family. It deserves to be celebrated! It’s meant to be a spiritual milestone and an awesome memory.
Baptism is powerfully symbolic for Christians. That’s why the Church has held firmly to this tradition all over the world throughout its history. It’s still important to us today because it means so much. To fully obey and follow Jesus, it’s an obvious (and Biblical) next step for everyone who's put their faith in Him.
Here's some things you must know about Christian baptism:
- Jesus was baptized Himself when He began His earthly ministry as an example for us to follow, even 2,000 years later. (Matthew 3:13-17)
- Jesus gave a final command to His Church after His resurrection where He told us to keep sharing the Gospel all over the world, teach people how to follow Him, and baptize them. So, every time a Christ Follower is baptized, we fulfill part of Jesus’ Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19)
- The water symbolizes the leaving behind of our old way of life and beginning something new. Christianity is about Jesus giving us a new life and washing away our sins. We go into the water one way (dry) and come out a different way (very wet!). (Colossians 2:12)
- The water also symbolizes our identity with Christ. We are proclaiming openly that we believe in His death, burial, and resurrection and have accepted what He did for us. Water symbolizes His death and burial…coming out of the water symbolizes His resurrection. (Romans 6:3-5)
- Baptism does not save you, only faith in Jesus saves you (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is like the wedding ring a couple wears after they’re married; it’s an outward symbol of an inward covenant relationship. If you have not yet trusted Jesus for salvation, put first things first and ask Him to be your Saviour today. Click here for more information about how you can do this now.
- After salvation, you should be willing to be baptized as a public declaration of your faith. It’s time to celebrate the big win! During your baptism, other Christ Followers will be celebrating with you and supporting you all the way!
Don’t put it off, take this bold step of obedience and let it be a milestone and memory in your own journey of following Jesus (Acts 2:38).
Our next baptism service will be posted online on the church calendar and announced in Sunday services.
- If you have never given your life to Jesus or you’re not sure, we want to help you understand that decision and pray with to receive Jesus if you're ready. Please feel free to speak to one of our Pastors directly after any Sunday service, contact them at the church office at 905-878-7072, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.