“If anyone loves me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
I was saved when I was 38. It wasn’t too long after salvation that I was asked if I had been baptized. I explained that I was baptized at the age of eight and did not feel it was necessary to follow our Lord in baptism again.
As I grew in my Christian faith, I began to wonder whether I should consider baptism again. Baptism is not a prerequisite for heaven and has absolutely nothing to do with salvation. So why should I consider a second baptism? It certainly wouldn’t improve my standing with God, or would it?
When Jesus died for us, there was an exchange at the Cross. Our sins were traded for his righteousness. That’s what redemption means. It’s like those trading stamps I saw my mother redeem at the gift store when I was a child. Those stamps were worthless, but she always traded them for something of real value. The Bible says it another way, “For just as through disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
We all know that Jesus’ death and resurrection are pivotal to our salvation. His death on the Cross enables us to stand in righteousness before the Father, but his resurrection is equally important. When he conquered the grave, he let us know that eternal life was more than an empty promise. The Son of Man had risen.
I began to realize that baptism had a lot of symbolism in it. For the first time in my life, I could see that my decision to submit to baptism was a simple way to show my obedience to God and affirm my belief in the promise of eternal life.
The symbolism shown through baptism is important, but there had to be more to it, so I sought advice from other believers. I couldn’t find a Christian anywhere who would downplay the importance of baptism. Yet, none of them told me to do it. Instead, I was encouraged to seek God’s guidance through prayer and study.
I couldn’t have received better advice because the answer to my questions was in the Bible from God himself. Jesus submitted to baptism early in his ministry. In fact, Matthew records that John the Baptist, Jesus’ own cousin, was so uncomfortable with it that he said to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14) Listen to what Jesus says: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15)
After reading that exchange, God had my full attention. If Jesus was willing to do it, how could I refuse? After all, the Bible says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
There is a whole lot more to baptism than symbolism. Baptism is our opportunity to show that our obedience to God is more important to us than our pride. Indeed, as I soon learned, I had to swallow my pride in order to learn about humility. I shall never forget it.
Scripture convinced me about the importance of such a simple act of obedience. I was afraid of what others may think about a 38 year-old man taking the plunge. “Take courage,” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Baptism taught me to keep my eyes on him.Share on Facebook