The Sunday before last, I baptized my youngest son upon his profession of faith in Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord. He expressed his desire to be baptized and unite with the church and we received him into our number. It’s really remarkable to think about what happened in Clay, though it may seem rather ordinary. It’s what Christians do, go to church, preach the gospel, make disciples, and baptize believers.
We gather on the first day of the week because my Lord was risen on the first day of the week. Every Sunday we honor the fact Christ Jesus the Lord rose from the dead and pronounce our living faith in a living Saviour. The very day Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples gathered together and the next week, they did the same. And the week after that. And every Sunday for nearly 2,000 years, Christians gather on the first day of the week to worship their Lord, and we followed in their steps.
My Dad is the pastor of Beauty Ridge Missionary Baptist in Kentucky and we had him come and preach for us that weekend, so in God’s goodness, he was able to witness the event. Sunday morning he preached the gospel of Jesus. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, and before the Lord’s public ministry, John preached repentance unto faith and baptism upon faith. When John saw Jesus he declared, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” We met on the first day of the week, and were pointed to Christ, the Lamb of God. The Lord’s people have been preaching that message for millennia as well. The same faith once delivered.
After the preaching, we headed to the water. It was raining that Sunday and I joked with my son that he was going to get sprinkled before he got immersed, but that wasn’t true. It was sprinkling the rain, but not my son. The rain sprinkled on him, but he wasn’t sprinkled. I baptized him, or immersed him as the Greek word means. That’s what John the Baptist did, he immersed men under the water. It’s a picture after all, of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It wouldn’t be much of a burial to sprinkle a handful of dirt on a body. So we entered into the water and in the name and by the authority of the Holy Trinity, I immersed him. The sin didn’t roll away in the water because the sin was paid for at Calvary. The blood before the water. Baptism showed what Christ has already done, a physical act symbolizing a spiritual reality. Going under the water also symbolized him dying to sin, and then coming out of the water, walking in the newness of life, united to Christ. We baptized him the same way, for the same purpose, under the same authority as Christians have been doing since Jesus walked the Earth, just as He promised.