Monday, June 19, 2006

Baptism-Saying "I Do"

Making the decision to trust God with our lives and become a follower of Jesus is hugely important. In the world we live in today, there are so many other options of whom to trust and follow.

There are the traditional siren calls of work, sex, money, and power, seeking to wreak havoc upon our lives and families. We live in a pluralistic world in which other religions are readily accessible. And then there is always the temptation to simply follow our own inner voice and compass, the advice given by “New Age” experts and self-help books. It is easy for our commitment to wane or disappear.

So how can we know that we have made the decision to follow Christ, particularly when we struggle with our commitment? The answer? Baptism.

Here, an analogy to marriage is helpful. Any two people who come together know that there are other fish in the sea. How do they know that each is committed to the other? Because there is a wedding ceremony, an exchange of rings, and an exchange of vows. And if the husband or wife wants to know if they have ever made a commitment to the other person, all he or she has to do is look at the wedding ring on his or her finger.

In the same way, baptism is our assurance that we have committed to Christ and that he has committed to us. Peter says, “. . . 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:21).

What has your baptism meant to you? Do you remember it when you encounter difficulty? Have you viewed it as a commitment?