Spring is among us and with warmer weather comes warmer water temperatures. What this means for Floridians is ample opportunity for outdoor fun which includes beach baptisms.
Elizabeth and I had the chance to participate in our first beach baptism last fall when she decided to “take the plunge” and make a public statement announcing her faith in Jesus Christ to all those present. More than a simple public display, water baptisms are a confirmation of one’s salvation.
As an infant, I was baptized in a church as part of a Catholic ritual. Clueless as to the meaning of the ritual, I laid in my mother’s arms crying and screaming. On the other hand, when my wife Elizabeth was baptized in September 2006 at age 28, she also shed tears. But those were tears of pure joy…
Her baptism was a genuine rebirth. As the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico, a small group of believers gathered on the beach and sang songs of worship. Our pastor then delivered a wonderful message explaining the meaning of water baptism and invited those present to follow him into the water where believers would be baptized one at a time.
It was truly an extraordinary event.
But what exactly is the meaning of baptism? After we believe in Jesus Christ, after we have repented of our sins, we are commanded to be baptized by full immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
The bible reads “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16).
It is important to note that to be saved, one must believe AND be baptized. It is safe to assume infant baptism or any baptism prior to repenting and believing in Jesus has no meaning because no one can be baptized into one in whom you do not believe.
The bible reads “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)
Water baptism must also come by full immersion. “And you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
Jesus commanded “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
Baptism is synonym to surrendering which means “giving up.” In surrendering to Jesus Christ, we stop putting our will before God’s. Through baptism, we allow Jesus to reign over us. We submit to Jesus and let Him become the Lord of our lives.
If you have not yet humbled yourself, and totally surrendered to Jesus through water baptism, hear that “Now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Water baptism is not something any believer should put off. It is part of one’s salvation and must be taken seriously. If you have not already been baptized by full immersion, I invite you to take action and obey God’s command. Now that summer is near, beach baptisms will be taking place once a month here in St Petersburg, why not join us?
We thank you for your forgiveness in our sins
And for your inspiration in our lives,
We thank you for your all mightiness
And for your strong hand in directing us.
Lord father we ask that you continue to shine your light bright,
Upon us, our families and all those who seek you
And help us serve you and lead others to you in this life
So we all can rejoice with you in the next.
God please inspire all your children
To be baptized in your Holy Spirit Lord,
And guide their footsteps each and every day
Helping them follow the way everlasting.
God we thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre