Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: WHY NOT?
By S de Villiers
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Jamie looks at the delicate flower on one of her plants. Itís absolutely perfect. She loves her plants and spends a lot of time nurturing them. To know each plantís specific needs she read a lot about gardening and her bookshelf are packed with books about flowers, growing techniques, pruning etc.
She thinks again about the parable the pastor used one Sunday about a month ago. It was all about Baptism and the growing of plants. Also the different answers people have to his question of WHY NOT? She though it not to be important, after all, she has been Ďbaptizedí as a baby (one of her answers to the why-not-question) Since that Sunday the topic came to her several times in a number of different ways. Remembering the specific text verses the pastor quoted from the Bible and him explaining the importance of being baptized as a re-born Christian, it became a thought she has been struggling with for the last few weeks. She prayed about it, and knows that God have a wonderful way of constantly bringing something under ones attention when He wants you to know more about it.
Looking at her plants she realizes what the pastor was trying to picture. One of the points he made was that building our Christian lives is like growing a delicate flower. The logical thing to do would simply to give the plant water and any fertilizer you can get hold of. However, when you learn more about the plant by reading up on it, youíll see itís got specific guidelines to make it grow to its full potential. That would never be possible if the guidelines for growing that plant are ignored.
She decided to ignore that little guideline of being baptized. She touched the petals of one of the flowers, a beautiful soft pink. Taking her pruning shear she carefully cut out a stem with some damage on. With the little plants she does not need her pruning shears because their stems are healthy and strong growing. That remind her of what was spoken about certain conditions that need to be fulfill before baptism; like repentance and the fact that babies can not repent of their sins because they donít have any. and Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) Neither can the believe in the resurrection of the Son of God and receive Him as Saviour by confessing Him to be the Lord of their lives What is to hinder my being baptized? And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart (if you have a conviction, full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah and accept Him as the Author of your salvation in the kingdom of God, giving Him your obedience, then) you may, and he replied, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Acts 8:36-37)
Baptizo, she learned is a FULL IMMERSION and symbolizes what happens to us when we are born again. We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious (power) of the Father, so we too might (habitually) live and behave in newness of life (Rom 6:4)
Before she goes back inside her house she takes a glance at her garden and rest her eyes on the beautiful, full grown Erythrina tree in the corner. Itís in full flower and absolutely breathtaking.
The scripture John 14:23 came to her mind (If a man loves me, he will keep my word)
as well as the pastors closing sentence ďIn the Bible baptism is a clear commandment of Jesus (Mark 16: 15-18) and a foundation stone we have to build our Christian lives on.Ē
She loves Jesus and donít want to miss out on the full potential of her growing relationship with God by ignoring the guidelines. Its then when she decided that even if getting baptized simply as an act out of faith, because she want to obey the word of God, its enough reason to illuminate any answers she had to the question WHY NOT?
*All Bible text quoted from the Amplified Bible
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