By Brandon G
It is hard to describe exactly what I felt last Tuesday night. I can say one thing for sure though, I can say with certainty that I felt the Holy Spirit moving through me and the whole Porch. I felt an excitement that was beside myself. It wasn’t because of something I was doing, but it was an excitement for everyone who was declaring publicly that they were going to follow Christ, as well as all who were listening.
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I tried to think about what baptism meant to me. Why was I doing this? Baptism would not save my soul. For Christ alone has died to save my soul. For me, baptism was a big step to tell the rest of the world that I was now a Christ follower. After rejecting God for 30 years I had seen how He can heal us and the grace and peace that He brings to all our lives.
In being baptized we are publicly declaring how Christ has changed our lives. My mother and my step father are recently learning of my life changing experience. My mother came last Tuesday to see everyone get baptized. She got to hear the message of the Gospel and to hear the testimonies of the three who shared. I was so excited to publicly share with her how Christ has saved my life.
A song that sticks in my head all the time is “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons. I love the opening lines to that song. "How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes, I struggle to find any truth in your lies." It reminds me that left to my own desires my mind and eyes will wander and I may stumble over Satan's lies. I certainly didn't view baptism as any sort of destination like "I've been baptized, now I'm saved, I can relax", but after Tuesday I just felt again how God was waking up my soul and renewing my body. To see again that following Him is the way to true life while the alternative simply leads to death and destruction every time.
So what do we do with this life now that we have been baptized? On one level it's pretty simple. Love God and obey His commandments, 1 John 5:2. My sinful nature, though, will make this simple charge a hard one to keep. By being baptized into Christ publicly, I have invited everyone to speak truth into my life if I am getting off course. This public declaration is important if we are going to be held accountable. It is similar to being in community. We love each other, so we will sharpen our brothers and sisters when they become dull.
Overall, I don’t feel as though I have arrived or completed any event for which now I have received a reward of relaxation or anything like that. My soul is awake and I have declared to the world that it is God who has saved me through his Son. I feel a new fire inside that is fueled by the Holy Spirit. This fire burns so that I will think less of myself and remember to serve the kingdom.