It’s always so refreshing when our church conducts a baptismal service for God has worked in hearts so that people want to do what He commands and so next week we will have another baptismal service. One of the people being baptized was saved through our ministry not that long ago. She is eighty-six but she will not allow her age to stop her from being baptized ! Praise the Lord !!
We, of course, do not see this ordinance of the church as necessary for salvation (the thief on the cross was promised heaven by Jesus Himself and had no opportunity while nailed to his cross to be baptized), however it is so for sanctification or spiritual growth. Broken down very simply, whenever we are made aware that God requires something of us and we balk to do it, we stunt our own progress spiritually. But when we comply, we allow Him to do His bidding in our life and so baptism is a great opportunity for any new believer to start on the pathway of growth. We chuck any excuses and we just simply do as He asks.
I suppose the very first converts in the church age as seen in Acts 2 upon hearing Peter’s marvelous sermon thrilled the early church as they went forward in believer’s baptism then. Luke writes, “. . .’Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (vs.38). His primary focus was that his hearers be saved hence the word “repent” and lest we misunderstand the admonition to be baptized he uses a preposition in the Greek which is to be translated here “on the basis of”. In effect, Peter was preaching that they could only be baptized when a true conversion had happened to them individually and on this basis then they could be properly immersed (baptized here means immersed). But imagine those first baptisms !! The excitement of people not only being born again but deciding that they wanted to GROW too !! How about you? What growth have you seen lately? Is there something you have delayed to do for the Lord? Has life gotten so hectic that He’s been crowded out and the basics have slipped? Take a cue from some new converts, just follow the Lord’s Word and it won’t be long before the spiritual exuberance returns ! Perhaps you’re doing fine, oh you have your ups and downs but all in all you’d honestly say growth is occurring. Why not encourage someone in a humble way to join along in the spiritual journey of Christian growth too !!