My dear one:
I hope you’ve been reading God’s word and listening for His voice. I wanted to address other questions about baptism: one of them in this letter and the remaining later.
Let me share what I recollect of my own baptism, which occurred several years after I believed on the Lord. I was a student at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., and so was my brother. We were baptized the same day at the Evergreen Ministries, a small local church that ministered to college students.
I was self conscious about being sopping wet before an audience – clothes, HAIR, and all!
A Christian comedian recently joked that you could hold up a colored woman with a water gun! So you can imagine my reluctance.
That notwithstanding, once I came to grips with the fact that this was Jesus’ will, I never considered that I had a choice but to obey Him. There were no sparks or chills, I simply trusted that my Lord was pleased with my commitment to follow Him, and my obedience to Him in baptism.
How should one be baptized?
The word translated baptism, is the Greek word “baptizo.” It stems from bapto, which means to dip repeatedly; to immerse; to cleanse by dipping or submerging; to overwhelm. It is also related to the art of dyeing fabric.
The question concerning baptism is, can a person be baptized by sprinkling or some other means than immersion? Examples of baptism in Scripture seem to be by immersion: In the accounts of Jesus and the Ethiopian official’s baptism, it states, when they “came up out of the water.” Also, John baptized people in the river.
So it seems that both the baptizer, and the one being baptized had to get in the water to perform the baptism.
Another thought about baptism is that it proclaims spiritual realities such as our identity with Christ, by reenacting His death (“we have been crucified with Christ”); burial (“buried with Him in baptism”); and resurrection (“just as Christ was raised from the dead . . even so we also should walk in newness of life”). See Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12.
That old person no longer lives, but Christ dwells in their physical body (Gal. 2:20). These spiritual realities can best be portrayed by immersion in water.
The relationship of the word to dyeing also paints a great word picture in the transformation of the original fabric beyond recognition once it is immersed in the dye.
The word baptizo in the same vein, signifies a permanent transformation.
Like most ceremonies or events, baptisms can be fraught with mishaps and embarrassments, though
I’ve never seen anyone go down and not raised back up!
Those baptized are sometimes invited to quote a favorite verse, or profess their newfound faith. It is a beautiful thing to witness the joy and love of the new believer, and their expressions of faith and gratitude to God.
One young child enthused before a couple hundred worshippers that he wanted to be, “a server of God!” His declaration elicited tears and very likely renewed commitments to the Lord, in young and old alike, and made me reconsider the depth of my commitment to serve God.
I’ve never forgotten it, and I pray he will never turn back.
Is this helping?
I’m praying for you.
Siyan Fayiga is a guest columnist of the Waxahachie Daily Light. She resides in Allen, Texas with her husband of 17 years, and their three children aged 13, 14, and 15. Siyan owns a business in Waxahachie, and her husband has practiced medicine in Waxahachie for more than 16 years. She teaches a ladies’ community Bible study, which meets at Chick Fil’A on 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 7 a.m. Comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.