I knew I was saved solely by the grace of God through my faith in Jesus, so if baptism wasn’t going to change anything about my relationship with God, why would I do it? If baptism isn’t required for salvation, why is getting baptized necessary? Will I be closer with God if I get baptized? Will I be a “better Christian” after I’m baptized? What does baptism really mean and why should I do it?
These are all questions that ran through by head before I decided to get baptized. I always knew that getting baptized was important, but I didn’t really know why. When I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus with my life, I made that decision in the comfort and privacy of my own heart, but I couldn’t keep it there forever. We are told in Mark 16:15 to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” It’s an intimidating command, but what better way to proclaim the wonderful news of the gospel to your family and friends than through baptism?
My baptism allowed me the opportunity to share my testimony with my family and friends, and that was such a special moment. I finally realized I had to get baptized, because I couldn’t remain silent about what the grace of God has done for me! The angels in Heaven rejoiced with celebration the moment I decided to follow Jesus. We needed to celebrate too!
I think I had always had this expectation that once I came up out of the water, something miraculous will happen inside of me and after that very moment, I would never be the same. The truth is, there isn’t anything in the water. The baptism won’t save you. God’s grace will. The moment you meet Jesus is the moment you change forever. Baptism is a proclamation of that moment.
Not only was I acknowledging the commitment I made to Christ by getting baptized, but also responding in obedience. We actually are given specific direction to be baptized once we’ve received the gift of God’s grace. Acts 2:41 says, “Those who accepted his message were baptized…” What are you waiting for? Proclaim to your community what the grace of God has done for you! Make a public declaration that says, “Jesus saved me! I’m choosing Him and I’m never turning back.” The moment you chose Jesus was the moment you stepped from paralyzing darkness into everlasting, glorious light. That’s something worthy of a proclamation.