Like many other concepts, ideas or actions of the Christian faith, baptism is a topic I continually learn more about each time I hear it discussed. For me, that has a very tangible reality to it, because I was baptized several years after placing my faith in Christ.
That gap in time existed for several reasons. I came to know Christ at the young age of 9, and I had spent little time seriously digesting Scripture, which left me relatively unaware of the true depths, power and symbolism of baptism. Also, I was nervous about being dunked under water with a bunch of people watching.
As the years passed, I came to grasp the sudden and incredible acknowledgement of baptism as an outward confirmation of an inward decision. For those first years after becoming a Christian, I didn’t know too much about what I had gotten into, outside of a feeling I had in my chest and the immediate peace that washed over me following my acceptance. Over time, however, through my involvement in a high school community group that surrounded me with a group of young, but knowledge-seeking believers, I finally came to realize the gravity of both what I had placed my faith in, as well as what baptism provided as a means of announcing that decision.
Think about it. You can be truly humble and not seek out attention or gratification in your achievements and victories, but there are a select few events that you feel no remorse about proclaiming and sharing. Maybe it’s a sibling’s engagement, a child’s new job or your own new baby. Sharing these impactful life events isn’t seen as bragging, but rather as telling the world that something important has happened in your life or the life of someone you love.
This is what baptism became for me.
I could finally grasp the weight of the decision I had made to place my faith in the one who died so that I could receive grace. This revelation motivated me to be baptized immediately so that I could share this decision — the greatest decision anyone can make — with the world, thereby only solidifying it more.
This is how we must view baptism. Whether it’s contemplating our own, celebrating someone else’s or possibly speaking truth to someone who has yet to partake in it, it is imperative we understand the significant communicative role that baptism plays, and that it’s an expected step of obedience once we enter into a relationship with Christ.
Once we are baptized, we will be seen the same way God saw his son, Jesus, after doing the same.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
— Luke 3:21–22
That seems like reason enough, right?