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“I Feel Fresh…”

By October 28, 2018August 30th, 2022Lost in Translation

Today marked a big day in the life of our youngest grandson, Drew. That’s because he was was baptized this morning at his home church in Reydon, Oklahoma. Although we weren’t able to be there in person, our daughter, Jill, was kind enough to record the ceremony for us and we were able to see his baptism within minutes of it occurring.

Baptism is a big deal in the life of a believer. Drew has believed in Jesus Christ as his Savior for some time now, but he has never been baptized by immersion. That’s what happened today. Many times, people are baptized by sprinkling, but some of the more conservative churches use immersion as the method of baptism. The idea is that you “die” to your sins by going under the water; and come up to a new life in Christ.

There are, however, depending on your beliefs, different ways to accomplish baptism. The early Anabaptists were at odds with the early Catholic Church and this is where some of the divergence in their respective belief systems began. The Catholic Church firmly believed that babies and all others had to be baptized as part of the salvation process to gain entrance into heaven. Sprinkling was the preferred method.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Anabaptists believed that there were no biblical baptisms before a person professed their faith in God. This is what is called “post petition” of faith. So, although you can dedicate children and babies, they can’t be formally “baptized ” until after they are old enough to understand what it means to accept Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. And people that get baptized “post petition” are usually immersed, as was the custom in biblical times.

Furthermore, the early conservative church believed that baptism was an act of obedience to following Jesus Christ as opposed to having any specific value regarding salvation. This continues to be a difference between many of the mainline denominations and the more theologically conservative church denominations today.

In fact, in the original Greek, we are told that when Jesus came up out of the water, having been baptized by John the Baptist, He came out of the water with His eyes open, looking up to heaven. In fact, this recorded event is one of the few times that we find all three members of the Trinity present.

Regardless of your belief system, baptism is an important time in the life of a believer. And Drew certainly was excited about his special time today. After listening to the Pastor, and answering a few questions about his belief in Christ, Drew was immersed and came up out of the water smiling from ear to ear. When asked how he felt, in typical Drew fashion, he answered that he “felt fresh!” Admittedly, this is the first time that I have heard someone describe baptism this way, but I admired his honest and authentic response to the Pastor.

Tonight’s verse highlights the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by His friend John. We are told in Matthew 3:16-17, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

My encouragement this evening is that God loves it when we are obedient to His commands and desires for our lives. My prayer is that we will all celebrate when a believer takes the step of baptism as an outward sign of the change that has already occurred within the heart. Great job, Drew. We love you and we’re proud of you – you will always remember this day! And to each of you, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace!

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