First thing’s first. I’m getting baptized tomorrow. Before I get into
the why, I’ll talk about the where and when. It’s going to be at Edmonds
Marina Park, and put on by Mars Hill Church Shoreline. Here’s the event
page for more information.
The picinic starts at 6, then Pastor Steve (lead pastor at Shoreline)
will preach, there will be some testimonies including me and then the
dunking will begin.
Now for the why:
I grew up in the Lutheran church where the tradition is to “baptize”
babies. I use the quotes because as Pastor Mark describes in his sermon
from this last
infant baptizm is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Here’s what the
Bible does say about baptism:
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has
made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 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.” (Acts 2:36-39)
The pattern is clear: repent and be baptized. When I was baptized I
didn’t have that opportunity, so now I’m here 29 years later and I
haven’t come forward to make that public declaration of faith.
The topic of baptism is something that came up as long as 6 years ago
when I became a member of Mars Hill. I had never considered the topic
very seriously, and honestly didn’t feel like God was directing me that
way. I prayed a little about it since then and honestly didn’t feel like
I wanted to do it. Only recently, though, has God put it more on my
heart through earnest prayer as well as conversations that the Holy
Spirit used with my wife and community group.
The primary reason that I didn’t want to get baptized was fear. I’ve
been getting more plugged into Mars Hill and I had a strong hunch that I
would be asked to share some of my story if I decided to go through with
it. I’m not someone who likes being in front of a big crowd. I much
prefer things behind the scenes. So my nerves got the best of me.
On top of that, I reall don’t know exactly what I’m going to say. I
really started to take ownership of my faith around 10 years ago, but
before or after that haven’t really struggled with the “big” sins. No
drugs. No porn addiction. But the reality is that I have been proud. I
have been somewhat of a gossip. I have been gluttonous. Those are some
things that I still deal with now, even. And I still remain a sinner in
need of God’s grace.
I decided to get baptized before Sunday, but the sermon we heard from
Pastor Mark really nailed it when he said this:
And one of the most common answers I get is, “I’m shy.” But obedience
says to repent of shyness, because your shyness might be a sin.If
Jesus is saying, “Be my witnesses,” which is exactly what he says, and
then people are baptized, one way you are a witness is through your
baptism. So, let me encourage you today to consider:
Are you a Christian? Have you turned from sin?
Have you trusted in Jesus?
And have you been baptized?
If not, why is there disobedience? And I would tell you, your
obedience glorifies God.
So that’s the big reason I’m getting baptized. I want to be obedient to
Jesus. I know he died for my sins. I know he rose and conqured death. I
know that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say tomorrow.
Because he is with me.