Keep On Walking
We continue to see events unfolding in the world all around us like most have never seen before. I have heard people say that it is simply getting darker and darker. But is it? Could it be that the darkness is just now being exposed? God is continuing to shine his light of truth brighter and brighter on the circumstances that surround us. Previously blind eyes are now being awakened to the truth forcing them to search for answers and peace in the storm.
The good news is that those who have accepted Christ can find that peace in him. Furthermore, we can model peace in the storm. We can stand in faith as beacons of hope to the lost world. We even have evidence that this is exactly what is happening right now. Have you noticed? People are stepping up to accept Christ in numbers that we have rarely seen in recent years. The truth is this, that is merely the first step and not the last. The enemy of our soul, Satan, wants to snatch away the hope and steal the newfound joy. There is more, much more. One must desire the “more” enough to keep on walking.
We have all heard the adage “feet don’t fail me now” How appropriate it is in the case of those who are newly saved. Don’t stop now! The newly saved must move forward to retain their joy and peace. So, what next? The next few steps are crucial in retaining one’s freedom in Christ and putting on the new man (or woman). Jesus commanded us to not only repent, but to repent and be baptized. Baptism is like adding a preservative to a freshly hewn piece of wood, or like adding frosting to your cake. 😊 Let me explain.
- Why is water baptism so important? It seals our commitment to Christ.
You do not need to be baptized to be saved. We are saved the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our savior. We need to be baptized to be obedient. Jesus told us to repent and be baptized. Why? Obedience to follow Jesus into the waters of baptism seals our commitment to follow Jesus. It is an outward display of an inward decision. It tells the world we are serious about changing and walking in the new life that Jesus provides. Baptism is adding action to our words.
Who likes cake? What about cake without the icing, is it still cake if you do not add the icing? Of course, it is! However, it is much better with the icing. Not only does it taste better, but the frosting also serves as a preservative or a protective layer to keep it moist. Without the frosting, it can become vulnerable to whatever is in the air and can more easily become dried out.
Our heartfelt commitment to follow Christ is demonstrated by our willingness to follow him into the waters of baptism. The words of our commitment are sealed by our action like icing on a cake.
- What does it mean to be saved? What are we being saved from?
The bible tells us that we like Adam were born with a sinful nature. That means everyone is guilty of sin, and as a sinner we cannot gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. We cannot become a member of God’s family while the sin remains, and we cannot pay to have the sin removed because the cost is too great. That is why Jesus paid the price for us. He died and rose again so that we might live in him. When we accept Jesus, he removes the filthy rags of sin and instead we get to put on a whole new attire. It is the robe of righteousness that Jesus purchased for us. We are then adopted into the family of God and gain the inheritance that is ours, including eternal life. Jesus hung on a cross to save us from our sin.
- What does it mean to be water baptized? Why do some sprinkle while others merely dunk? Does the water wash away our sins?
Let us begin with the last question first. No, the water does not wash away our sin, the blood of Christ washes away sin. The word baptize in the original Greek means to immerse, henceforth this is why we bypass the sprinkling and go straight for the immersion experience. It is off with the old and on with the new. We bury the old man in the water so that we can rise again as a new man to live in Christ forevermore.
- What are the requirements for being baptized? Repentance. This means we must be sorry for our sin, ask for forgiveness, and believe that we receive that forgiveness. We must commit to abandoning our old lifestyle to live the new one in Christ.
- So, what is next? Have you accepted Jesus as your savior? Have you repented from your old ways and are you ready to walk in the new life that Jesus died to give you? If so, then baptism is your first act of obedience to tell the world you are serious about following Christ.
Once baptized, you will need a bible to study God’s word. Become involved in the church and get involved in a group bible study and/or a life group. Make the time to connect with God in prayer, connect with fellow believers, and walk out your brand-new life in him.
Congratulations, it is an amazing journey you have embarked on, and the reward is eternal!
So, keep on walking,
and WELCOME to the family of God!
Pastor Kathy Smith D.M.
Pastor of Discipleship and Engagement