On our last night of the Labor Day trip (I know you’re so sick of hearing about this thing!) Jordan pulled Mr. Rusty aside to talk with him ~ I was hoping it was “the talk” about marrying Casey but it was actually something even better! He was talking to Mr. Rusty about being baptized which is the biggest decision of his life. I am very honored that he wanted all of us to be part of his special moment and it was great to all meet up at Lakeland (our old church and where Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte still attend) to celebrate his baptism together. Even Jordan’s parents drove down from Kennesaw to be part of the event!
I love Mr. Rusty’s face…hilarious
I personally feel a little insecure about discussing baptism on this blog. It’s such a HUGE deal that I just don’t trust myself to say the right things. I’ve asked Mrs. Charlotte for some help and she let me borrow a book called Introducing the Church of Christ as a reference for this entry. I hope it will help explain what baptism is all about and (most importantly) why it’s essential to salvation.
First I want to answer what baptism is. In this day and age baptism seems to have three different meanings: sprinkling, pouring, or immersing. Here are some places in the New Testament that discuss means of baptism that should be reviewed as evidence on how to properly baptize someone. The baptism of John, which involved the same action as the baptism commanded by Christ and preached by the apostles, required “much water” (John 3:23). A case of baptism is described in Acts 8:38-39: “And they both went down into the water, both Phillip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water…” The apostle Paul twice uses the term “burial” to describe what takes place when one is baptized (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This evidence points to one action – immersion. The word “baptize” was originally the Greek word “baptidzo” which literally means to dip, plunge, submerge or immerse.
Jordan is pumped and ready!
Next I want to answer why baptism is essential.
Baptism is the final act of obedience one submits to be saved (forgiven of all past sins). A person is not saved until he is baptized and he is added to the church at this time because it is the time he is saved. Jesus told the apostles that as they preached the gospel, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Note the order: (1) believe, (2) baptized, (3) saved. In Acts 3:28 baptism is made a condition of salvation, as is faith: “repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins…”. Saul of Tarsus was also commanded to “…be baptized and wash away thy sins…(Acts 22:16).”
To become saved and to know you will have an eternal home in Heaven you must:
- hear the word of God: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
- believe that Jesus died on the cross for the remission of our sins: “…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
- repent: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
- confess: “whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 10:32-33)
- be baptized: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. or as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:26-27)
Not too complicated huh?!? I know I’m not a Bible expert or someone who understands it all but this one thing I feel like I “get” for sure! I feel like the Bible is very clear on the topic and it’s something I feel passionate about in my own life. I am SO SO SO thrilled for Jordan and beyond happy to know, without a doubt, that we’ll be hanging out together in Heaven someday 🙂
Entering the Lord’s body is the “easy” part of the process…now is a time where I know Jordan really needs our prayers. The devil is going to try hard to get him off the track of Heaven. I remember when I first became a Christian it seemed like so many things kept happening to tempt me away from the Lord. The devil doesn’t work hard to get those people who he already has ya know? But when you give yourself to God the devil knows he no longer has you and tries to get you back! It’s important for all of us to build each other up in our faith, help teach newer Christians about God’s word and (ESPECIALLY!) help spread God’s word to others.
When it came to my post on spanking I didn’t hesitate to post it even though I knew some people would be opposed to my beliefs. I feel this topic is much, MUCH more valuable as it’s not just about raising kids to be great adults but it’s about ALL of us knowing without a doubt where we will spend our eternities! I did the best I could with this entry as I know it’s a “touchy subject” for some and I hope I didn’t offend anyone. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I believe the Bible. It’s my guideline for how to live my life and my rule book for what to follow. Everything in this blog post comes from God’s Word and I hope that each of you really go and look up these verses and check them out for yourself! I especially recommend pulling out a NIV version as it’s so much easier to understand and digest. I’d be more than happy to help anyone who wants to talk about the Lord, the Bible and the path to salvation. If I can’t help answer any questions then I can easily get you in touch with people who can.
Jordan’s baptism was the best way in the WORLD to end our trip and was definitely the highlight of the vacation. I know it’s a life changing decision for Jordan but that it’s also such a blessing for Casey too. If (WHEN) they get married Jordan will be the head of their home and the spiritual leader of their family. I have nothing but confidence that he will do great in both aspects of life and that he will only continue to grow closer to the Lord throughout his life.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt 28:19-20)
I know this is from so long ago, but I had to comment in case someone else wondered the same thing. The simple answer is that Christ had not died for their sins yet, even the thief on the cross beside him. However, every conversion after His resurrection in the New Testament also mentions baptism.