People who have social media pages generally use them to tell the world what is going on in their lives, particularly if it is a big event. If your Facebook friend who is active about posting stories and pictures about many life events gets married, but then never says a public word about their own wedding, you would think that is pretty weird, wouldn’t you? It would almost make you wonder if they were ashamed of what had just happened.
That is sort of what it is like for a person who has come to know Jesus Christ as their savior, but who doesn’t obey the rather clear commands in Scripture to be baptized at some point after that moment. The baptism is not what connects them to their eternal relationship with God through Christ, but it is the public “social media” proclamation of status identification for what they have done.
So, just like not changing your public relationship status on Facebook after your marriage does not mean you are not really married, not being baptized does not mean you are not really saved. But to not tie one to the other is, well, frankly, a little bit odd.
The key word to remember about baptism is “identification.” By doing this, you are publicly identifying yourself with Jesus Christ and his work of redemption that you have experienced in your own life. Baptisms were a part of religious rituals even before the life of Christ … such as with John the Baptist. There was a picture of cleansing, and also that of being fully covered and immersed in the water. The Greek word pictures full identification, and it would be the word of choice to describe, say, the complete dipping of a garment into a bowl of dye – that it would become fully colored by it. And so you can see how it beautifully pictures being identified with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.
When we do a baptism at Tri-State Fellowship – most often late in the summer in the waters of the Conococheague Creek – we ask you to be prepared to speak briefly about why you are doing this. We are excited to hear about your testimony as to how you came to know Jesus Christ. We all have a story, and we know how it changed our lives; and we are excited to hear how it is happening for other people as well. This encourages all those who know Christ, and it “preaches” the gospel to any who are there who are yet to personally trust in him.
So there are two questions you will be asked: 1) Please share with us the circumstances and events that brought you to know Jesus Christ, and 2) What does this mean to you today and why are you being baptized?
If you would like to be baptized, please simply tell Pastor Randy or call into the church office. Know also that Randy or any of the staff are available to discuss this with you in detail.
At the baptism, bring a towel and change of clothes. Be aware that the creek bottom is a bit rough, so you might want to be prepared with some sandals or water shoes. Shorts and a tee shirt are simple attire, and women may wish to choose a bathing suit under such clothing.
We are excited for you! The annual baptismal at the Horst Cabin may well be the highlight of the year in the life of the church.
Please feel free to call with any questions: 301.790.1774.