The Beauty of Baptism
I love the United States of America. My parents immigrated here from Korea and became citizens of this country. I was born here, raised in Southern California. I am grateful to be identified as a U.S. citizen.
I suppose this is why I love the flag of the United States: The Red White and Blue, the Stars and the Stripes. This symbol stirs up patriotic feelings in me. I have a visceral reaction to any who would disrespect or demean the U.S. flag.
Symbols matter in the church as well. This is why God has given to us the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is an outward symbol of an internal reality. In baptism, a believer says: “I want to be identified with Jesus Christ. I belong to Him, and He belongs to me. I am a new creation in Christ!” This is why Peter gave this exhortation: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. . . “(Acts 2:38).
Baptism does not save anyone. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the finished work of Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, we can become so careful to emphasize the gospel of grace that we diminish the importance of this biblical ordinance. A citizen who loves his country will proudly wave the flag. A Christian who loves his Savior will gladly be baptized.
If you are a believer in Christ who has not yet been baptized, we encourage you take part in this beautiful ordinance. Come testify to your faith in Christ and identify with others who have trusted in the Savior. Experience the joy of obedience to Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 8:39). If you have been baptized, come support those who are obeying Christ in this way. Let us celebrate the ordinance of Christian baptism!