Monday, 9 May 2011
Watch Dan & John get baptised...
Last night we had our first Baptism at our Central site. It was a lot of fun to hear these guys speak of their journey to Christ. I spoke briefly and then Andy led us through the Baptism. Here is a video which I took randomly on my phone.
Baptism is the way to start following Christ
If you want to follow Jesus, he says we are to believe and trust him. The first step that we are asked to take is to be baptised. (Matt 28v19 Acts 2v38)
It's awesome that in being baptised we get to live out something that Christ asked us to do and also do what he himself did. We read of 'coming up out of the water...' (Matt 3v16) It's awesome that his teaching and example flowed out from Jerusalem across the Roman Empire, through Europe, across the world and down the generations all the way down to Exeter, Devon 2011.
Baptism is powerful
Baptism is for believers. It's a powerful portrayal of dramatic inward change in the person being baptised. It speaks of union with Christ in his death as we are plunged under water, and union with Christ as he is raised to new life, as we come out of the water. We are declaring our old lives buried and the beginning of our new lives in Christ.
Our culture is confusing
Baptism is married with the decision to follow Christ in the New Testament. Sadly there is much confusion over baptism in our nation and historically. Strangely sometimes we 'baptise' those who have no faith. 'Christenings' are still common for those in and outside of the Church. I personally find this very odd. Some people who don't want to follow Jesus think they are baptised. Others who do want to follow Christ in this way are later told that there is no need! I think believers are massively short-changed when they are taught not to follow Christ in this simple and beautiful declaration.
Sunday was great :-)
I left Sunday night with a real sense of joy. It's so good to obey Christ. It was great for us as a site. It was great for us as a Church to enjoy this one together. It was great for my good mates who pour themselves out for other people to have the joy of baptising and of course it was great for Dan and John who nailed their colours to the mast.