Baptism Is Not A Graduation, It Is An Initiation – Acts 22
From my reading in Acts 22 in the One Year New Testament.
Today I witnessed a baptism at my father’s church. (See picture above)
The testimonies of the people whose lives that were changed moved me and reminded me why I do what I do. Baptism is an amazing step for those who just received Christ, but is it also an inspiration to the church.
Especially among those new to the faith, there is a misconception that baptism is like a graduation.
Perhaps this is because usually when we celebrate adults it is because of something they accomplished. They think that they have to “get their lives together” to make sure they are ready to be baptized. In the Bible baptism virtually always happens right after someone is saved!
Baptism is not a graduation, it is an initiation.
Many cultures have initiations into manhood or womanhood. When I was in Kenya on a mission trip I heard that in certain tribes in order to become “a man” you have to kill a lion with a spear! Compared to that baptism is EASY!
Baptism is the Christian’s initiation.
When you go under the water you identify with Jesus’ death on the cross and burial. When you are raised out of the water you are symbolically joining Christ to walk in new life.
If you have received Christ, you have already been cleansed spiritually and reborn. Baptism is a way of showing the world what has already taken place on the inside.
Note: Baptism itself does not save you!
Baptism is a celebration your salvation but it is not something you must do to get salvation.
You don’t have to know everything or have it all together to be baptized. You just need to have decided to follow Jesus!
Ananias said this when the Apostle Paul was converted,
“What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16
Once someone is truly saved there is nothing to wait for!
If you have an adequate understanding of the good news and accepted it then it is time to get dunked!
I believe that having regular baptisms is a way to keep the vision for reaching people in front of the church and a great way of helping the new believers feel initiated.
If you have never been baptized talk to your pastor today and get dunked!