Genuine excitement seldom goes unannounced. If something significant happens in your life, you tell someone.
Often our greatest announcements in life are tied to our identity. Birthdays, engagements, marriages, promotions, baby announcements, all say something about who we are. We’re a teen now, or an adult, or a fiancé, or a wife, or a dad, and the list goes on.
In our age more than ever, it seems like everyone waves one flag or another—sometimes literally. We’re great at proclaiming who we are. We trumpet what’s important to us. And what we choose to identify with says something about what we value.
Something really exciting has happened to every believer in Jesus. So God commands that every believer in Jesus announce it to the world through baptism, because baptism tells a story and serves as a blessing to God’s people.
When God saves you from your sin, the most significant thing in your life happens. Jesus does something incredible for you: he gives you a new identity.
The Bible calls it “new birth” (John 3:3; 1 Peter 1:3; James 1:18). God now identifies you as a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:7), names you a “child of God” (John 1:12), and tells you that you “belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6; Galatians 5:24). You have a new heart, a renewed mind, and God’s companionship through the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 1:13).
You are considered a citizen of the kingdom of light, rescued from the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13). This kingdom is now your eternal destiny, the King your greatest delight, and his kingdom goals your sole pursuit.
If this change truly happened in your life, you will be excited. Fundamentally, your entire identity has changed. You are a whole new person according to God’s Word—the old you is considered dead and gone. The new you is the you that will exist forever.
It would be absolutely unnatural to leave this unannounced.
Jesus knows this, and he commanded that we tell the world what he has done for us in a symbolic act—baptism.
Baptism is being totally immersed under water and coming out of it again, in the name of the God of the Bible: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Baptism is the very first thing Jesus asks us to do when we begin following him. So for genuine Christians, baptism isn’t an option. It’s also not a light matter.
In places around the world, followers of Jesus are often put to death shortly after this public act. Even in safer places, such spiritual flag-waving may bring on ridicule, cause loss of relationships, or hatred by people who don’t believe in Jesus.
But friend, the safest place you could be is soaking wet, identifying with Jesus, because Jesus says, “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32 ESV).
To belong to Jesus Christ is the greatest identity anyone could ask for, because Jesus is the greatest treasure worth the loudest trumpeting.
What better thing to get excited about? What better thing to proclaim?
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