Today I Was Baptized… Again

Today I was baptized… again

When I was four, I asked Jesus into my heart…or so I thought. As was only fitting, I was baptized ten month later. I understood that I belonged to Christ and should obey Him. Now that I was a good person, I ought to obey my parents, memorize Bible verses, not lust after women, and go to church, a lot.

A Whitewashed Tomb

In light of my decision to follow Jesus, I counted myself righteous. I worshipped myself. I daily bowed before the idols of comfort, pleasure, and pride. I did not cherish Christ; I revered myself. My heart was characterized by self-righteousness, selfishness, covetousness, a critical spirit, pride, and more. I was a whitewashed tomb. Even when I looked polished on the outside, I was internally corrupt.

When I was dead

Though I was dead in my trespasses and sins, and was walking according to the desires of my flesh, Christ made me alive. In many moments, over many years, the Spirit worked. A miraculous change occurred. In a moment my eyes were opened. I saw clearly that I was unrighteous. I was the Publican; I was the tax collector. God exposed my wickedness.

Now what?

Soon baptisms haunted me. I had so many questions. Had I been genuinely baptized? Was I saved when I was baptized? When did God regenerate me? Had God accepted my childish prayer, corrupt and misguided as it was?

If yes, then why did my life conflict for so long with that profession?

If no, then I needed to be baptized.

My pride prevented me from accepting the obvious truth: I was born again after I was first immersed.

Raised in Newness of life

This morning at the Ridge Covenant Church, three people came to be baptized. However, the wind didn’t blow as planned; The Spirit didn’t follow the schedule. Instead, five were buried with Christ in baptism, and I was one of them.

When Pastor Andy opened the waters of baptism to all who were willing, I knew it was time. I could no longer refuse. It was time to own the truth: I needed to be baptized. So, despite my dry-clean-only pants, I got wet.

God’s Grace

The Spirit put up with my disobedience for over nine years. He was very patient with me. How generous is God’s grace! May He call me to fuller obedience until Christ is fully formed in me.

Worship and the Davidic Kings

“In the Old Testament no credence is given to kingship which does not share the character of obedient sonship, whether this be in the kingship Psalms or in the wider kingship theology of the Old Testament. The king was Yahweh’s ‘beloved’, the son of his choosing and the object of his gracious affections. In response, the kings of Israel were to love the Lord and his Law, and lead the nation in covenantal faithfulness to him. They were to shepherd the nation with integrity of heart (so Ps. 78:70-72 cf. I Kings 9:4f.), and to walk in humble worship and adoration before the Creator God who had adopted Israel as his son, and appointed them to rule over this chosen nation….

It also laid upon the king covenant obligations to walk in obedience to the Lord, such obedience being particularly emphasized in the matter of worship. Such worship would be faithful to Yahweh’s covenant Law, as expressed externally in theTemple, but as known internally in the attitude of a humble and obedient heart (cf. Ps. 51:17)….

Thus one of the prime aspects of his shepherd/guardian role over Israel was the preservation of true worship…including the removal of the high places and the promotion of true worship in the Temple. The reigns of Hezekiah and Josiah are particularly commended in this regard…

In short: where the kings of Israel led the nation in true worship of Yahweh, blessing was the result, and their reigns were commended in the writings of the former prophets. Where they refused to lead the nation in their covenantal obligations regarding worship, they and the nation reaped the curses of God’s judgment. Their epitaph is entirely negative, often linking them with ‘Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin’ (e.g. 1 Kings 16:26; 21:22; 22:52 etc.), especially by raising up false worship centers and encouraging idolatry…

The anointing of Jesus with the Spirit at his baptism thus identifies him as the covenant king of Israel, who is both the vice-regent of God and the covenantally obligated ruler of God’s people. His mission as the great Davidic King would hinge entirely on his worship of God. Its successful outcome would be a worshiping people, led by his own faithfulness to the throne of his Father. Jesus’ role as the purifier of the Temple (e.g. John 2:13-22) and the transformer of worship (e.g. John 4:19-24) is thus fully fitting for his kingly ministry over Israel and for his construction of a new Temple, far greater than that of Solomon or Herod.”

-Noel Due, Created for Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, Fern,Ross-shire, Scotland, Christian Focus Publications, 2005. 10-11


I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.
I will hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I will hasten, hasten to Him, hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I am resolved to go to the Savior,
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One,
He hath the words of life.
I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living Way.
I am resolved to enter the kingdom
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.
I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay,
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.
-Palmer Hartsough, 1896

I Can Do All (Through Christ)

“Does God ever ask His children to do that which is impossible for them? Then if He asks me-no, tells me-to love my wife, then, if I am really “saved,” really a child of God, I can, with all the resources of what it means to be saved. Or if He tells me, as a wife, to submit myself to my own husband, then I can-or I am not a Christian. And this goes-God help me-for everything He has outlined for His children.”

-Tom Carson, May 7, 1988, at the age of 76 after spending the day doing housework and caring for his Alzheimer ridden wife, as recorded in D. A. Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: the Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, 130

Obedience Equals Piety

“Make no reserve, exercise no choice but obey his command. When you know what he commands, do not hesitate, question, or try to avoid it, but ‘do it’: do it at once, do it heartily, do it cheerfully, do it to the full. It is but a little thing that, as our Lord has bought us with the price of his own blood, we should be his servants. The apostles frequently call themselves the bond-slaves of Christ. Where our [King James] Version softly puts it ‘servant’ it really is ‘bond-slave.’ The early saints delighted to count themselves Christ’s absolute property, bought by him, owned by him, and wholly at his disposal. Paul even went as far as to rejoice that he had the marks of his Master’s brand on him, and he cries, ‘Let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ There was the end of all debate: he was the Lord’s, and the marks of the scourges, the rods, and the stones were the broad-arrow of the King which marked Paul’s body as property of Jesus the Lord. Now if the saints of old time gloried in obeying Christ, I pray that you and I, forgetting the sect to which we may belong, or even the nation of which we form a part, may feel that our first object in life is to obey our Lord and not to follow a human leader, or to promote a religious or political party. This one thing we mean to do, and so follow the advice of Solomon as he says, ‘Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.’ Beloved, let us endeavor to be obedient in the minute as well as in the greater matters, for it is in details that true obedience is best seen.”

-Charles Spurgeon, Eyes Right, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1981), 19:356-57.