At the age of 12 my brother and I went to a church and took a course to learn how to be a Christian. We studied for a few weeks, not remembering how many weeks it took looking back that long ago, but we learned about Jesus and the sacrifice on the cross He made for us, about baptism and reading our Bible and praying. After the course we were baptized. I can tell you now that I did not personally know Jesus Christ at that time. I was going through the motions because that is what we were supposed to do to be a Christian.
The Lord found me and entered my heart at the age of 15 (please see my salvation testimony). This time I really knew Him and knew I was different because of my decision. I read my Bible every night because I desired to do so and I prayed every night before bed. Things were different. Well, life goes on and many things happen but Jesus was always with me. He never left me nor forsook me even though I wandered many a time.
In 1994 I was taking a course at church on how to witness. The second semester focused on baptism. As I studied I was convicted because I was baptized before I really knew Jesus. I had been a Christian for 19 years and the Lord was telling me to be baptized. At the first thought of being baptized after walking with the Lord for 19 years was frightening. What would people think? I could easily just move on and no one will know that I didn’t get baptized after the fact of salvation. But as I pondered the thought and prayed about it I knew it didn’t matter what others thought, it mattered what Jesus thought. He was the One who wanted me to follow through in obedience for His sake, for a testimony to Him. It is a sign of obedience just as Jesus through His obedience to the Father was baptized. Baptism doesn’t save, it is a sign to proclaim the transformation that happens when one accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I knew what I had to do . . .
I approached my pastor and told him that I wanted to be baptized. He basically blew me off thinking I was joking with him or something. Of course in his defense I said this in passing on a busy Sunday morning. It took about 3 attempts of asking to be baptized that he finally looked me in the eye and asked why I needed to be baptized. I told him as I have explained above. So, one Sunday morning I was baptized to the glory of God. I understood what baptism was about and grateful that He led me to follow Him in obedience and be baptized.
Conveniently, it was also pot-luck day, to this day I say it was a celebration of my baptism (LOL). I sat across from a fellow parishioner who said, “I didn’t know you weren’t saved”. Please know that baptism does not save you. It is an outwardly demonstration of an inward decision. Baptism is done as a witness to others of your decision to walk with Jesus. It is your first act of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, your God. To God be the glory in all that we do.
Continually seeking Him,