2 Timothy 1:7—For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Baptism is a picture of the transformation that takes place in a person’s life once they come to know Jesus. And it is an amazing way to show that because of the work Jesus has done in your life, you have a spirit of power instead of one of fear or timidity.
Some people think that what they wear to their baptism, or the water they are baptized in, is the biggest part of it. But baptism isn’t the end goal—instead, it’s only the beginning! It’s one of the most important steps a follower of Christ can take, because it is an announcement to the rest of the world that their life is under new management. Sin and death don’t have the same power over them anymore. Instead, they have the same power that rose Jesus from the dead at work in their life.
Baptism is a reminder for you of the decision you made to come to Jesus and of the change He made in your life, and for others of the reason you have new or different disciplines in your life now. Baptism is a snapshot for the world to see that now, your identity is in Christ. No matter what you were like in your past, He has made you a new creation. When you go under the water, it’s symbolizing your old self dying just as Jesus died—you are burying your old nature, and the Holy Spirit is taking over. When you come up out of the water, it’s symbolizing Jesus’ resurrection and the new life and new direction He has given you. When people ask you why you were baptized, you get the opportunity to share His story with them, and the change He has made in you.
And, by being baptized, you are joining in a special bond with other Christ followers. There are Christians all over the world; we come in different skin colors and nationalities and sometimes we speak different languages. We are male, female, young, and old. We have different occupations, backgrounds, and talents.
But one thing that all Christ followers have in common is Jesus. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.” We are here to help one another on this journey. In a world where we are called to stand out, God has given us a group of people, His Church, to be there to encourage us and cheer us on. Baptism expresses to this group that we are all in, fully committed, to them.
Have you announced to the world your commitment to and identity in Jesus through baptism? If you haven’t, it’s time to put the past behind you and show the world the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline God has given to you.