My Old Self is Dead
In 1957, my parents had me baptized into the Lutheran Church. I was far too young to know this, understand this, nor remember the event. But it was a traditional ceremony in the modern church, to honor God and to show the family’s dedication to raise their child in a manner worthy of God.
As I aged into my teens and early adulthood, I saw numerous people get baptized a first, or even second, time so-declaring their “new birth” or “rebirth” in Jesus. I always admired these people and never once doubted their desire and intentions – They were making a commitment to Christ, to follow Him, and to be “Reborn” or “Born Again!”
I so greatly supported these people and their dedication…BUT…I never felt I needed to take such steps or to get baptized AGAIN. In my regimented rule-based mind, I had already done this, as I mentioned in 1957. So, any repeat of this baptism, would in some way disrespect my parents’ efforts and commitment and would not honor the church which performed this ritual. In my mind, I was already baptized and thus any repeat effort was truly redundant, if not also disrespectful.
Through the years I was absolutely thrilled to see my children, my grandchildren, and my dear wife, all take these steps to dedicate their lives to Jesus through baptism. But it wasn’t necessary for me because, as I said, I had already been-there-done-that.
However, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum, as they say. I was taking my routine lunch break, watching the Price is Right, and scrolling through social media on every commercial during the show. By the 4th or 5th set of commercials, there really wasn’t anything new on social media, and I knew that it was unlikely anything just popped up in the past few minutes. But I was drawn back to my phone and to a particular social media site.
I half-heartedly scrolled through all the posts and scrolled slowly pasty a post from show “The Chosen.” I was immediately drawn back to this post. It was a post showing a video clip from season 1. I had seen this episode three times, and as great a message as it was, it was nothing new to me.
However, I was drawn back to this video clip. I clicked on it and watched it again. For some odd reason, it seemed even more powerful, on this viewing occasion, than any of the three times I had seen it before. I began pondering, maybe I should get baptized?
For the next 10-15 minutes, I honestly struggled with this thought. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Would I be dishonoring my parents and the church? Would I be invalidating the previous baptism? I felt compelled to watch the clip again. It brought me to tears. Why did this so move me, why was I having such doubts or questions?
You see, I have lived a fairly strong Christian life. Yes, I have failed many times and yes, I should have done more. In fact, these two statements are the foundation of life as a Christian, and quite frankly for all of us. I wondered if taking this step was truly necessary. After all, I constantly share the Word of God. I started my own small business for the sole purpose of sharing, and providing, Biblical resources to all, free of charge. Did I really need to give into this strong yearning to be baptized?
That’s when it happened. That’s when either God spoke to me or He sent the Holy Spirit to help me. The voice told me; “What you are doing is good, but you need to do this. You need to take this step.”
WOW – Earthshattering, at least for me! I have always believed that God and/or the Holy Spirit have guided me through much of my life’s big decisions, and certainly gotten me out of some desperate situations, all of my own doing. But this is the first time I truly heard a voice tell me; “You need to do this!”
I immediately contacted my Minister and this past Sunday, Easter Sunday, I got baptized. It honestly never entered my mind, but ironically, it was just like my dear wife who also was baptized on Easter, a few years ago.
Baptism, is a commitment to die to your old self and be “reborn” into Christ. I have made that commitment and TRULY hope that with God’s grace and guidance, that I will fulfil that commitment. The Apostle Paul tells us in this letter to the Romans: Romans 6:4 (NIV) “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
You too can make this commitment, and it’s an easy decision, when it’s all said and done. Do you want to be better, do better, live better, love better, and become a better example to others? You can make this same decision, to be baptized. And the greatest part of this decision, is that you will have the Creator of the Universe helping you, guiding you, loving you, and giving you grace.
What better person than God to help you and give you the support you need to commit to a new life. A new life that can only be found in Jesus!!!
If you would like to see the same video clip, from The Chosen, click on this FACEBOOK link: https://fb.watch/jJFvr2qEtY/?mibextid=qC1gEa
If you are not on Facebook, you can access the same clip on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_p2XIUK9VgA