When I lived in Indonesia, I ran across a group of Indonesians who had a desire to share the gospel with anyone they met. They were really excited and always carried a backpack with a Bible inside and something else – a bathing suit! Their theory was that when we find someone who is ready to believe, the next step is Baptism. So, they needed to always be ready to “find water” because often in the Bible salvation is followed quickly with baptism.
SALVATION IS THE HEART RESPONSE TO GOD.
It is a personal decision between God and a man, woman or child! But baptism is the act of going public with your faith. Water baptism for an Indonesian, and I believe for many others in the world, isn’t a small decision. Baptism is the “line” that many Indonesians will come up to but not cross because they know this is when they aren’t just keeping their faith to themselves anymore. By the act of baptism, they are proclaiming to family, friends and strangers that they are a follower of Jesus. They are “all in.”
In the Book of Acts there is an Ethiopian man that believes. Philip, the apostle, finds this man trying to figure out what the Bible is saying and who is this Savior he is reading about. Philip explains to him about Jesus and the man wholeheartedly believes. As they travel the man sees a body of water and says, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Philip baptizes him right then – hours, maybe even minutes after salvation.
But did he know the Roman road salvation plan?
He hadn’t even heard a Billy Graham sermon.
He probably didn’t even know the 10 Commandments at this point. And he probably couldn’t tell you more than a couple of stories in the Bible.
BUT HE BELIEVED, AND HE WANTED TO MAKE IT KNOWN.
So, he got baptized.
I work with kids and they have all kinds of thoughts about baptism. I’m sure some of us have the same thoughts, but don’t say anything for fear of being wrong. Below are some of the reasons kids have thought you get baptized:
- “The water washes off all your sins.”
- “God cleans your heart when you go under the water.”
- “The water is magic water and helps you to never ever sin again.”
Often kids think baptism is the time when your sins are wiped away. So, I get to talk to them about the moment they believed. We talk about where they were and what they felt when they prayed to receive Jesus. At that point, their sins were forgiven, and they began a relationship with Jesus. They are forgiven by God for all their sin, and we talk about how amazing forgiveness is. We talk about how everyone doesn’t know about what God has done in their life, but baptism gives them the opportunity to let others know.
BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INNER CHANGE.
We go in the water to show people that we were full of sin. But then we met Jesus and die to our old way of life. When we come up from the water, we show everyone what has happened to us on the inside – we have become a new creation.
So, we find water when we find Jesus so everyone else can see what God has done and perhaps find Him themselves!
If you are interested in getting baptized at our Baptism Bash on May 20th, sign up here!
By Shawn Dunn – Kids Pastor