by Deb Raab (Nelson)
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It was a beautiful day for a baptism it was still nice out, the heat and humidity hadn’t set in yet. There was a service in the park building before going out to the lake for the baptism. The service consisted of music, introductions and testimonies from the baptism candidates. Each candidate had a sponsor who anointed them with oil and spoke a blessing over them. The service ended with all of us saying the Apostles Creed together:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Saying the Apostles Creed is not new to me, I grew up in a traditional Lutheran Church and we said the Apostles Creed every Sunday. I know it by heart and have said it many times before. But this time was different for some reason, the words really meant something to me and by the end of the creed, I had tears in my eyes.
I know what I believe and to be able to state what I believe to God, others and to myself is so rich to me. I needed to hear myself say this creed and to stand in a crowd of other believers saying the same thing. We have been discussing community at our church and wondering how to create an atmosphere or environment of community that others can enter into if they choose. This was community to me.
The part of the service held in the building ended and it was time to go to the waters of baptism. We sang one verse of “Grace Flows Down” in the building and continued to sing as we followed the baptism candidates and their sponsors out the door. It’s a public lake and beach and there were other people and families outside swimming and playing in the water and on the sand. They watched as we came out the building. It was such an awesome experience and I felt so close to Jesus as we walked to the water. We stopped on the shore and removed our shoes and the baptism candidates and their sponsors were led into the water. The rest of us were invited to step into the water as well, to remember our baptism, to show our support and belief and to be a community of believers.
I stood in water up to my thighs, watching from a distance as each pair stepped into the center of the circle and the sponsor announced “I baptize you:______________ in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and held them in their arms, lowered them into the water and then back up again. When each of them came up the first thing I noticed was a huge smile on their face and they wrapped their arms around their sponsor with a big hug.
Baptism is so special to me. I was baptized as an infant and when I was 37 I chose to be baptized again. I made the decision because I wanted it to be my decision. My infant baptism didn’t really hold any meaning for me because it wasn’t decided by me. My adult baptism was a way for me to be obedient to Jesus by making my beliefs public. Another thing it did for me was to show people I am willing to be held accountable for my actions. I have followed Jesus into the waters of baptism, I have died to myself and I want to live for Him and only for Him.
When Jesus was baptized there was a loud voice from heaven and the dove ascended on Him. This is the only time all three parts of the trinity were witnessed at the same place and time. This is a special occasion it was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. God is pleased with us when we are baptized just as He was pleased with Jesus and in many ways it can be the beginning of our ministry here on earth.
July 19, 2006
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Reading this article brought back memories of my own baptism, which is an event Iâ€™ll never forget. I wasnâ€™t baptized in the name of the father, son and holy spirit. I was baptized in the name of JESUS CHRIST, just as the apostles baptized people under the guidance and watchful eye of Jesus, himself. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.(KJV) In this scripture, this is Peterâ€™s answer to the people, when they asked â€śwhat must we do to be savedâ€ť Matthew 28:19 we read ....." Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (KJV) We are not told to be baptized in three titles such as father, son and holy spirit. This scripture says â€śgo ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the NAME ( singular) of the father, son and holy ghost. (It doesnâ€™t say to â€śbaptize in the titlesâ€ť ) Father is not a name, son is not a name, holy ghost is a name all three are titles. Which brings us right back to Acts 2:38 ..... baptizing in the NAME of Jesus Christ, as we are told to do. Jesus is the one who died for our sins, we must die out to sin in his name. Baptism is our spiritual death to sin. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is our spiritual resurrection with Jesus
Baptism is an awesome and unique experience. And an essential part of the new birth! God bless!