This past Sunday First Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant and The Church at LifePark came together and baptized over 70 people in the Atlantic Ocean at the Isle of Palms. It was a fantastic celebration as people displayed their faith in Jesus. What is the significance of baptism? Baptism is one of the ordinances of the Church, St. Augustine viewed baptism as “the visible manifestation of an invisible grace.” Baptism is a sign of obedience. Jesus declared in Matthew 28:19,
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Baptism is a concomitant to making disciples just as teaching is in the next verse. We see that this command was not only for the Apostles for He gives the duration in the next verse,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Baptism is also a sign of identification. It is an outward manifestation of an inward reality – you are demonstrating that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life,
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
Baptism can be a defining moment in your life where you publicly declare that you are a follower of Jesus (see my post on Defining Moments for the significance of a defining moment). The New Testament pattern reveals that baptism is for believers and that the mode of baptism was by immersion. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament defines Bapto “to dip in or under” and the intensified form Baptizo from which we derive our word baptism is translated “to immerse” or submerge (Vol. I, pp. 529-530).
Baptism reveals to others that you are a follower of Jesus. A member of our congregation was walking toward the crowd and someone asked him, “What’s going on? Was it a shark attack?” Our member replied, “No, it’s something much bigger than that!” How true! Was your baptism a defining moment in your life?
Photo Credits: Ann Nodtvedt
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University