In our living room stand four pictures of my children, pictures that remind me of what God has already done in their young lives. Each image captures the moment when Jarin, Brooks, Karlie, and Elise personally and publicly proclaimed their trust in Jesus Christ and celebrated their faith in Him through baptism.
I love those images because they remind me that no matter what life brings, Jesus has showered them with his love and holds them securely in his arms.
Baptism is a picture.
In the same way that a photo reminds us of a special person, moment, or experience, baptism reminds us of the moment when Jesus Christ laid down his life for our sin, was buried, and three days later, by the power of God, was raised to life in victory over sin and death.
Baptism reminds us that Jesus was covered in our sin to wash us clean.
Baptism reminds us that Jesus was drowned in sorrow to bring us joy.
Baptism reminds us that Jesus took hell to give us heaven.
Baptism reminds us that Jesus died to give us life.
As a result, when someone is baptized into Christ, we not only celebrate their story of faith, we celebrate the God of their story. Baptism reminds us that through Jesus, God has showered us with His love and therefore, we can rest securely in His arms.
Oftentimes, people will say to me, “Jed, I love Jesus, but I’m not ready or worthy to be baptized. First, I need to get some things right in my life so that I’m better prepared.”
Let me be clear. There are certainly times when we need to honestly explore the true meaning of Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus, or pursue answers to our faith-related questions.
But more times than not, we need to be reminded that baptism isn’t something we do for God, it’s a celebration of what God has already done for us.
If you belong to Jesus Christ, have you celebrated your faith in Christ through baptism? If not, what is holding you back? To ignore baptism would be like getting married but refusing to place a wedding picture on your bookshelf as a reminder of that sacred moment in time.
I want to encourage you to be baptized as a celebration of your union with Christ in his death and resurrection!
If you haven’t been baptized because you’re unsure of what baptism means, let me encourage you.
At Harbor, we say that when a person decides to be baptized, they are declaring two things. First, “Jesus, I need you to be the Savior of my life. I need you to do for me what I can’t do for myself by forgiving my sin and restoring my broken relationship with God." And second, “Jesus, I want you to be the King of my life. Because of your mercy and goodness, my life is yours from this day forward, all of it!"
If the desire of your heart is for Jesus to be your Forgiver and King, there is no better way to celebrate and seal your trust in Christ than through baptism.
When I look at the pictures of my children standing in the water just before or after their baptisms, I smile. I’m reminded that though I have the joy of being their father in this brief life, they belong to a Heavenly Father who has loved them with an unimaginable and unquenchable love.
Baptism is a gift worthy of our deepest celebration.
If you have questions about baptism or would like to be baptized at our next Baptism Celebration on May 16th or 17th, please email or visit www.harborofhope.org/baptism
I look forward to seeing you this weekend!