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.
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.
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.