The word baptism comes into English directly from a Greek word meaning to dip or immerse. Baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the believer is immersed under the water and raised up again. It is a public testimony of the convert’s identification with Jesus Christ and spiritual immersion into Him. It is a witness to the fact that the believer’s life has been transformed by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
There is much false teaching among those claiming to be Christians concerning baptism. The Church of Christ falsely teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation by twisting Acts 2:38 as well as other scriptures unto their own destruction. However there are no cases of baptism in the Bible of anyone but believers after their salvation. Given that Sandy was raised Church of Christ she has been especially sensitive in not rushing Isaiah to be baptized to ensure that he understood its significance without connecting it in anyway to his salvation experience at the age of four.
Although baptism is not essential for salvation it is essential for service and it is the first step towards spiritual maturity. As an ordained minister I have been given the authority by my local church to administer the ordinance of baptism. On Sunday evening August 28th I had the privilege of baptizing Isaiah at our home church. It was a special experience for me as a father.
I got choked up as I said, “Isaiah Matthew Planck, upon your profession of faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” As I took Isaiah under the water and spoke the words, “Buried in the likeness of Christ’s death” it seemed that time stood still for a moment. Christ’s death in the Father’s eyes was impressed upon my spirit as I beheld my son with eyes shut under the water. How it must have grieved the Heavenly Father to see the death of His only begotten Son, but it was for only a moment. As I brought Isaiah up out of the water and from this picture of death, the congregation shouted with joy and I could hardly hear myself say, “raised in the likeness of His resurrection.”
Later I reflected on the shout of joy among the congregation as I simultaneously spoke of the resurrection and brought my son back into view. I considered how all of heaven must have roared with excitement as the Son of God was raised from the dead. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord we serve a risen Saviour and are enabled to walk in the power of His resurrection.
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” – Acts 8:36,37