19 Pictures of Faithfulness

The first time we went to a swimming pool for a baptism I thought,

“Soooo…this is weird”.

I had never experienced something like that before.  Believer baptism was a new thing for me, but also A SWIMMING POOL?  REALLY?

This has been a journey because of my background.  I grew up in a Calvinist tradition where we knew that God chooses some, but not all so I don’t remember ever seeing an adult being baptized into the faith.  I haven’t turned my back on that tradition, but I’ve realized that God loved the world.  His heart is focused on the salvation of the lost…Now,

I want to work like an Arminian

and sleep like a Calvinist.

That’s not original to me, and I hope you hear the humor intended, but the point is this:  I want to work like an Arminian(because I don’t know who will be saved) and sleep like a Calvinist(because God does and he’s in control).  

So what does baptism mean?  That might depend on what tradition you come from because it’s a single event with layers of meaning.  This is basically what I’ve come to know about baptism…

Baptism is about God’s grace, not what I have done.
Baptism is not the goal.  It’s a picture of something that’s already happened.  It points to the work of Jesus in that we die with him and are raised to life.
Baptism is personal but never private.

This weekend, 19 people are coming to make a public confession of faith through baptism.  19!  Everyone one of those people is another story.  Everyone is another picture of God’s faithfulness.  Everytime we have baptisms, I get really excited.  Why?  I get excited because I want to believe that God has power to change anyone’s heart to repent and to find life in Jesus.  I WANT TO BELIEVE THAT!  Everytime someone comes forward to share their story in baptism it’s exciting to see God at work.  So this week, we are going to sing and cheer everytime someone shares their story and comes out of the water.

And at the end of the morning, we will have 19 new pictures of God’s faithfulness.

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