Baptism is an outward sign and demonstration of an inward work. It is a public declaration to the world that I have decided to follow Jesus. A person does not get baptized for Salvation, rather they are baptized for identification. After Jesus was crucified, He was then buried in a tomb. Three days later He rose again in power.
When a person is baptized they go down into the water, and it is a picture of their old person, who they used to be, being buried with Christ in the grave. When they come up out of the water, it is symbolic of them being raised with Christ. This is something that has already happened in their heart. They have asked to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, now they are outwardly declaring what has taken place. Baptism is a big step in the life of a Christian. It is a beautiful experience and completely life changing.
Yesterday, down at Doheny State Beach, we had the privilege of baptizing at least 30 people. The ages of those who were baptized ranged from 7yrs of age up to 70yrs of age. We had more people show up to support those being baptized then ever before. Also our Spanish church came with us and they also baptized people from their fellowship. I cannot tell you what joy filled my heart to see so many going into the water. For some, tears of joy flowed from their eyes. They came to waters wanting to follow the Lord, and receive from Him, all that He had for them. There was a women on the beach observing our baptism take place. She came and asked if she could be baptized. I asked her if she had received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She responded that she had, and so we baptized her. I baptized a women in her late 70's yesterday. She told me, "Pastor John the Lord has changed my life." One young lady said, "Can you make sure that all of me goes under the water?" We made sure... Another young man said, "Can you please baptize me in the name of Jesus?" As I prayed for Him I said, " We baptize you in the name, which is above every name, the name of Jesus."
We give the Lord all the praise and glory for the Work that He is doing in the lives of His people. If you haven't been baptized yet, I encourage you the next time your church has a baptism be baptized. Its a command from Jesus, and a blessing for the believer.