I was baptized today. For the 2nd time in my life.
First, let me explain why I believe baptism is important, and then I’ll tell you why I’ve done it twice.
As a Christian, I believe that we are commanded to be baptized (Matthew 28:19).
I, as an imperfect human, have committed terrible crimes against a perfect and Holy God (Romans 3:23). Sin. We all have. God tells us we deserve hell for that (Romans 6:23). God being Holy cannot let sin slide- It needs a just penalty. Being the perfectly just Judge that He is- Hell is the just punishment.
Jesus Christ came as God, to live sinlessly- and to die for sin. My sin. Yours too. He did die for it. He didn’t stay in the tomb where he was laid to rest. Jesus, being all powerful God, did the unimaginable. He came back. He rolled the stone away from that place of death, and walked away- alive (Luke 24). Even his closest friends didn’t believe it at first. The guards who kept watch of His tomb day & night couldn’t give an answer. He must be something more.
He is something more.
He is the Creator of the Universe (Colossians 1:16).
The Creator of You and Me.
He gives life.
He has the power to give life and take it away. He took his own life back up again after death(John 2:19).
He has proven Himself to be faithful and True since the beginning of time.
He calls us to believe (John 6:28,29).
He says the “good things” we do are like worthless rags. We can’t be good enough, on our own, no matter how hard we try. His standard is too high. It is unattainable. Salvation is granted through faith, not works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The day I trusted in Christ I was made not only “good enough”, but perfect in God’s eyes. I won’t attain perfection here, nor will I achieve avoidance of all sin during my life on this planet. But God has given me His righteousness. I am right before God and no longer guilty. My sin, now covered by His blood.
Baptism is a picture of this transformation in Christ (Romans 6).
Before the water: my old self- broken, dirty, and imperfect.
Immersed in the water: dying to sin, and coming back up as a new creation, new life- clean, and perfect before God.
Taking off the old self, and putting on the new- something all Christians have to choose to do with their sin daily. Turning away from our sin continually, walking in His Spirit, and looking to follow Christ daily (Colossians 3).
Maybe you’re reading this as my family member, friend, or a brother or sister in Christ, and you’re just trying to figure out… Why twice?
Baptism doesn’t save us. Christ alone, in His grace, does the saving. So there is only need to be baptized once as a Christian, to show the world your proclamation of believing Christ and following Him in newness of life.
This is why….
I was baptized as an 11-13 (or so) year old girl. At the time I had just started to learn who the God of the Bible was, for the very first time. I had some sort of desire to figure out who this God was, but I didn’t quite understand Him. I wanted to believe in Him, but I wasn’t sure what that even meant.
Before this point, I grew up being told that Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit were not the One True God- but 3 separate Gods instead (Isaiah 43:10,11). The “faith” I had was based on doing the best that I could in life- and God’s grace would be applied “after all you can do.” It was Grace + Works= Salvation. It wasn’t really faith at all.
God’s Word doesn’t teach this.
It took me years to sort through the differences. I attended a Bible teaching church, and tried to get it, but it was all still very twisted for me. I met a guy, who became my boyfriend. He asked me to attend Bible College with him in Wyoming. I didn’t even know Bible School existed. I thought it sounded stupid, but being a teen in a rough spot at home and in my soul, I wanted to get away. So I went with him. At this point I didn’t really have a desire to get into the Bible, and wasn’t very thrilled about going, other than to be with my boyfriend.
There, for the very first time, I learned who Jesus was for real. I put aside everything I ever told myself about God, and let His Word tell me who He was. I realized that HE is God, He is the great “I AM”. The Creator of the world, the uncreated One, He was with God in the beginning, and HE IS GOD. (John 1:1-5)
I realized the sin I committed daily against Him was a bigger deal then I ever let myself think it was. Daily I was rebelling against a God who loved me so much that he gave his life for me.
At some point during those first two years at school is when I think I truly came to believe and fully trust in the one and only God.
As a kid, I had been told “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.” I thought that sounded nice, and thought I believed it, but at the same time I’d tell everyone around me: “whatever you believe is your truth.” Those two “truths” contradict each other. Truth can’t be contradictory.
That isn’t what God meant. He meant what he said; Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The only way to Life. Not one of many ways.
The last couple of years I started to realize how I didn’t really believe God at all, when I first thought I did. As an 11-13 year old. I may have wondered about Him from time to time, but I didn’t know Him yet.
So, in prayer and seeking counsel on the issue the last few months, I believe it is God’s desire that I was baptized again now, as a true Follower of Christ. It is a Biblical command for all believers after all.
As I thought over this decision the last few days & weeks, I continually turned over some of my favorite lyrics in my head:
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
O Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
This song goes right along with one of my favorite verses:
“For You light my lamp; the Lord my God illumines my darkness.
For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall.
As for God, His way is blameless; The Word of the Lord is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God, but the Lord? & who is a Rock except our God,
The God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless?”
This God, the only God. The One who died for me. The One worthy of my trust and praise.
& that my friend, is why I got baptized today. Again.
It was my first baptism in Christ.
To God all praise and glory.