For our Lord, it happened in the Jordan River by a man named John. Baptism in first century Jewish culture was very common. And it meant different things in different settings. For ritual purity, Jews used a mikvah and washing in a mikvah provided cleansing for worship. They have uncovered 700 ritual baths throughout Israel, 200 in Jerusalem and, of those, 50 near the Temple Mount. It was a big deal. Ritual purity was a big deal. You entered the water with no barrier between you and the water, no jewelry, makeup, nothing. Oh, and no clothes either. Nothing was to come between you and God.
When Jesus came along and John baptized Him in the Jordan River, it marked, among other things, a new start. The years of ministry were now beginning. And the presence of God was to be with His Son. The masses were to pay attention to what was about to happen.
And then, in some of His last words on earth, Jesus instructed His followers to baptize those who came to believe the gospel message. Dipping into water became a symbol of faith in Jesus.
Since that moment, immersion in water has been a point of growth in believers’ lives. Baptism has taken place in rivers and oceans and creeks and churches and lakes and……well, just about everywhere.
Think about it like this: If you just got married, that marriage is probably all you think about, no matter what you do. You are excited to tell people about your spouse and the new commitment you made. Getting baptized is similar. Your life has been changed by Jesus, so you are excited, emotional, and can’t wait to share the good news. Baptism is a way to show the inward relationship to the outside world. Baptism represents a public commitment to God and His will for your life.
Have you ever chosen to make such a public statement of your faith in Jesus? If that has never been your choice, we are offering the opportunity to do just that. It’ll be on Sunday evening, November 12. Perhaps your next step of obedience on your journey with Jesus needs to involve some water!
Baptism is going public with your faith. Your commitment to Jesus is personal, but it isn’t meant to be private. Baptism declares to the world how Jesus has changed your life.
Baptism isn’t what saves you, as Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Rather, baptism is an opportunity to shout to the world and give a testimony of the One who saved you. Are you ready to take the plunge? Sign up on The Connect.