About the writer
James is a full time elder at Church on the Rock. He is married to Michele and has two young children. He enjoys fishing, cycling and wood burning stoves.
The greatest thing I’ve ever seen!
For me, there is nothing in the world more moving and inspiring than watching someone get baptised. Until recently they may have had no belief in God and zero interest in church, and now they are deciding to be dunked in water in front of a cheering crowd, as a way of shouting out to the world ‘I get it!’, ‘I’m in!’, ‘I’ve discovered hope!’ So why do followers of Jesus get baptised in water?
Jesus instructed that every Christian should be baptised, because it is a powerful symbol of what has already happened when you first invite Jesus into your life as King. When you become a Christian, something real and life changing takes place. The bible says that you are forgiven from all your bad stuff, past present and future. It says that your old self has died, being crucified with Jesus on the cross. You are instantly raised up to new life with Jesus, and have become a new person with God dwelling within.
Baptism is a symbol of this amazing transformation. Being submerged under water is a picture of your old self dying with Jesus, and being pulled back out displays how you have been raised to life as a new creation; a holy child of God.
Baptism is a bit like wearing a wedding ring. When I wear my ring it doesn’t make me married, and if I forget to wear it, it doesn’t make me un-married. However because I am married to my wife, I wear my ring as a symbol of the covenant that I made with her and how we are committed to loving one another.
Similarly getting baptised doesn’t make me a Christian, but it’s a powerful way of declaring to the world that something incredible has happened in my life: I am a new creation and God is living within me!
Just before Jesus descended up to heaven a big crowd of followers heard him shout out this command: ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. A few weeks after this the church was born and Peter stood up, declaring this to the crowds: “Repent (turn to Jesus) and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ”
If you are a Christian, then baptism is for you. Or if you haven’t yet given your life to Jesus, then watching others get baptised and hearing their stories can be a great way of moving forward on your journey of faith.
Our next baptism service is on Easter Sunday, 1 April. Come and join us and witness the celebration of one of the greatest things in life! Find out more about our meetings here.