We joyfully baptized 79 people in the Bogue Falaya River in Covington, Louisiana, September 1.
While we baptized 79 people we had about four or five times that many people who came to sing and rejoice with those being baptized.
Baptism in the Bogue Falaya is special, but baptism in any venue is a wonderful experience.
This is what we understand about baptism.
First, baptism (and the Lord’s Supper) is a church ordinance (commandment). It is the church’s way of affirming the personal and private decisions of individuals to give their lives to Christ and to follow Him. By participating in this public baptism, believers acknowledge their commitment to Christ.
Second, while baptism is not the means of salvation, it signifies that we have been saved. We are saved by the work of Christ on the cross. We receive that work by God’s grace and our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is a public demonstration of an inward decision to follow after Christ.
Third, baptism comes after faith. In the New Testament all those baptized did so as a conscious decision after their commitment to Christ. This conscious decision “pictured” their faith response to Christ.
Fourth, baptism is by being “dipped” (that is the meaning of the Greek word Baptizo) or “immersed” in water. This mode of baptism follows the New Testament practice and symbolizes what has occurred though the work of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, baptism is the beautiful picture of what happened to us when we submitted ourselves to Christ. When we yielded to Christ, we participated in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The old person died and was buried and the new person was raised to life (Romans 6:1-4).
We will have our next baptism service in our church baptistry the weekend of October 5-6, 2013.
May God bring many more people to follow Him.