Remember Your Baptism
by Liz Kanoy
"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.'" -Acts 2:38-39
Three years ago on Pentecost, I attended my godson’s baptism. The pastor encouraged parents and godparents to remind their children and godchildren of their baptisms often. He also encouraged all believers to continually remember their own baptism and to remember what baptism means for those in the body of Christ.
When I was baptized at 23, the pastor prefaced my baptism by saying “there is nothing magical about this water,” and he was right. There is no magic in the water and the water itself will not change you, but there is extraordinary power and hope in the One who makes baptism possible - the One who baptizes in the Spirit and transforms the heart.
Whether you lean toward infant baptism or a believer’s baptism theologically, Christians can all agree that baptism is a symbol of eternal hope in Christ. For Christian parents their baby’s baptism is a symbol of their promise to raise the child to know and love God. For believers, baptism is a symbol of the lasting hope they possess and a reminder of the promise that has been fulfilled.
Remember your baptism, but don’t just remember the day or the act - remember the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gives purpose to all baptisms. Remember that the Lord called you to Himself, and He chose you by name - not by any merit of your own but by His free gift of grace.
Throughout the Bible, we can see that God chose people whom we might consider not so deserving - polytheists, murderers, adulterers, harlots, liars, and all other sorts of sinners and sins combined. His point in showing us the flaws of the people He chose is to remind us that no one is deserving. He can give mercy to anyone He chooses because all have fallen short of His glory, and no one can be justified and sanctified apart from Jesus.
When you remember your baptism, remember that you were nothing and God made you new. You were without hope, but He called you His own. He has adopted you as His child and heir. Remember the sin that caused the world to fall, understand the consequence of sin for every human being, and realize your continual need for the perfect Savior who lived and died and rose for all who would believe.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Thank your Savior Jesus Christ for your baptism today, thank Him for the baptism of all those in the body of Christ and those in the covenant family, and pray for the baptism of many more--for no one is without need of grace and no one is beyond God’s reach.