An Outward Expression of a Spiritual Reality

posted by Dave Stevanus | Jul 17, 2019

One Saturday night many years ago while I was reading my Bible a thought came to me. It was powerful, right and peaceful. At that moment, I knew that I could no longer be in charge. I had made a mess of most of my life and things couldn’t go on like they had been anymore. That night I prayed to trust Christ with my life and finally recognized Him as my savior. 

The next day I showed up at church and told my friend who had been helping me ‘see the light’ what happened. He said “well, you know what you have to do”. I can remember thinking distinctly, ‘no, I don’t know what to do now’. He told me to go at the end of the service and talk to the person up front. So, I did. Then that guy said the same thing, “well, you know what you have to do”. Again, no clue. We went to a hallway or a table and the guy said that I needed to be baptized. I asked when and he said tonight, be here at 5:30 for a short class and then get baptized in the evening service. So, I did. 

When the service was over people came up and congratulated me, hugged me and told me how great it was to see me get baptized. People who I had worked with years before called me and said that they heard I had been baptized and was now following Jesus. One lady said she and a friend had been praying for me for years. Wow, who knew.

Now, I have the great honor and blessing to baptize people from our church. I can’t really put into words how exciting it is to see people come to know the Lord and take the step of obedience to be baptized. Baptism it an outward expression of an inner change. It is a public testimony that the person being baptized has found new life.

Are you ready to be baptized?

That may seem like a hard question but it really isn’t. If you have professed your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, your personal savior, you are ready to be baptized. There is a great story in the Book of Acts in chapter 2 that tells us a little more. There were many people that day who heard the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus. When they heard the message, they were “cut to the heart”. The gospel message made an impact on them. Peter went on to tell people to repent, turn away from their sin, and be baptized. Verse 31 says, “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” 

Baptism is the Biblical way of showing the world that I am a follower of Christ and part of His people, the church. By being submerged in water and then lifted out, I am illustrating I have died with Christ to my old sinful life and have been resurrected with Christ to a new life of righteousness. It is a wonderful outward expression of the spiritual reality that has taken place inside of me. 

Read these statements. If they are true of you, you are ready to be baptized. 
1. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for all my sins. I have confessed my sin to God and asked for His forgiveness. 

2. I have turned away from my old life and joyfully embrace my new life in Christ. 

3. I choose to obey His commands instead of just my own desires for my life. 

4. I am now a new person in the eyes of God and want to be baptized as a symbol that I am now a follower of Jesus Christ. 

We have a baptism coming up on August 18 in the Columbia River. If you have trusted Christ for your salvation and have not been baptized yet, this is a great chance to follow through. If you have been baptized, this is also a great chance to come celebrate with your church family. 

You can find details about the River Baptism 2019 on the Bethel website. If you're ready to be baptized, let us know on your Connect Card on Sunday, or sign up online (Richland and Prosser).

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