“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.” -Acts 22:16
This morning I made the spontaneous, yet very conscious decision, to get re-baptized at Radiant Church. It’s been on my heart to do so for months now, but with the encouraging boost from my husband, I finally mustered up the courage to do so.
I was baptized when I was eleven years old at St. Phillips Church in Battle Creek by Father Fitz. I don’t remember much of it and if my memory serves me correctly I was pretty reluctant to get baptized. Church, to me back then, was very traditional. During each service we read from the Bible, sang hymns, prayed and took communion. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t a super religious Christian. I wasn’t a fan of Church, and I think it’s because I didn’t fully understand it. I didn’t fully understand what Jesus did for me..for all of us. I’m honestly don’t think I really cared back then. My God-mother was Church-assigned and I haven’t been in contact with her for over 15 years. I didn’t feel that it was right for the Church to decide who my God-mother was based on religion denomination. I guess this was something that turned me off from it all together along with some other things throughout the years.
Thankfully, I found my faith again a few years ago. This past May, Jason and I had Braxton dedicated at Church. Dedication, for those that are unaware of what that means at Radiant Church, is different from Baptism. This is a powerful way to declare your decision to raise your child in the Lord! It’s my hope that he willingly makes the decision to proclaim Jesus Christ as his savior. I certainly won’t make that decision for him, and I won’t be that parent that forces religion down his throat. I will, however, be that parent to give him the tools and information he needs to make his own decision about religion and baptism when he gets older.
“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” -Revelation 21:5
When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that I’d get re-baptized. I didn’t even know church was doing baptisms today. When the service started and they spoke about baptism and new beginnings, the message tugged on my heart strings so much that I whispered to Jason that I wanted to get re-baptized. It wasn’t my intention to do it in that moment. His response was, “I knew you were going to say that. Go do it.” With that little motivational push, I walked down the aisle and eventually was fully immersed in water proclaiming Jesus Christ as my Savior all over again.
This time, it was of more willingness, of more understanding and appreciation of who He is and what He has done for myself and my family.
I’m most excited about taking this step since the New Year has just begun. I’m feeling refreshed and so so much more complete. My heart is happy. My heart is content. And it’s because of Jesus Christ (and my family of course).
Here are notes from Radiant Church’s service today from their website.
We get baptized with four Biblical motivations:
1. IMITATION Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV) Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
2. DEMONSTRATION In baptism we show that we have been saved from death and doom by the resurrection of Christ; not because our bodies are washed clean by the water but because in being baptized we are turning to God and asking him to cleanse our hearts from sin. (See 1 Peter 3:21)
3. DECLARATION Acts 2:37-41 (ESV) Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Radiant Church | Pastor Tony Calabrese
4. IDENTIFICATION Romans 6:3-4 (ESV) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Here’s to a new me, a New Year and the relationship I’m building with Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
For those of you who are my Facebook friends, here is the video.
Picture: Danielle Jones, Radiant Church Facebook Page