FaithPointe had our second baptism service last Sunday. There is something very special about these services. I feel the smile of God on these obedient sons and daughters of God.
I've never forgotten the joy it was for me to be water baptised some months after my conversion to Christ. Coming out of the watery grave (symbolising Christ's death and burial) to walk ahead in life knowing everything had changed for me. I was now 'crucified with Christ' and the life I was to now live was 'by faith in the Son of God - who loved me and gave His life for me'.
In many restricted access nations (R.A.N) - you are not considered a true convert to Christ until your water baptism. It is the outward demonstration of the inward change. That is not to say a person is not saved until they are water baptised - not at all! But - the 1st major step of obedience for many Christians is to follow Jesus through the waters of Baptism. Jesus did not have to get water baptised by John, but He did it in order to MODEL the way forward for those yet to come. I love what Paul says to the church at Rome:
Romans 6:4 (NASB95)
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
It is this newness of life that we need to be praying for so that our churches do not get stale. Baptism is a sign of NEW LIFE - God's resurrection power at work. Let us be believing God for many more to come in the days ahead!