A Pastor’s Perspective 05-10-2022

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day and celebrate baptism. Mother’s Day is always good as we spend some time celebrating our mothers and mother figures in our lives. However, Baptism Sundays are always special. Baptism is an outward example of an inward transformation and should be a time of celebration. I always enjoy being a part of services that include baptisms, and it’s fun to watch someone make an outward declaration from death to life. As you are probably aware, we Baptists hold baptism in high regard. We believe that baptism follows a conversion of faith and should be used as a commission, representation, analogy, and “welcome to the family” moment. As Baptists, we believe that a person should be fully submerged after a profession of faith. We do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation.

The moment of baptism can be overshadowed in American churches, but for many countries worldwide, being baptized is a declaration of following Jesus and rejecting other religious ideals. The act of baptism becomes something powerful and final. Even in our history, men and women died over the idea of baptism. The tremulous history continues today as different denominations have different ideas about baptism.

So, what does all that mean? First, baptism is a great moment as we continue in a tradition that predates the time of Jesus. Matthew 3 describes John the Baptist baptizing new converts. Obviously, they understood the concept and its importance.

Second, we see Jesus being baptized in Matthew 3. Baptism is so important that Jesus, the Son of God, made sure to be baptized as he began his earthly ministry. Jesus uses this moment to kick off his earthly ministry. This moment is so special that it is commemorated by the Spirit of God descending on Jesus and God’s voice saying, “This is my son whom I love: with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17, NIV). Jesus sees baptism as something extremely important.

Lastly, we have been commanded to be baptized and to go out and baptize. Matthew 28:16-20 is called The Great Commission, as Jesus sends out his followers one last time before being called up. The command is to make disciples and to Baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

We could continue, but we’ll end here. I am always thankful for a baptism Sunday. I love the opportunity to live out the commands of Jesus and join in solidarity with Christians all over the world.

God bless, Jon.