On the second day of Christmas, my Father gave to me, baptism by water into new birth and the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort me.
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. Acts 2:38
When I was baptized at age 11, I’m not sure I completely understood what being submerged in the water and coming up as a new person was all about. My reason for being saved and baptized was simple, my preacher told us it was the only way to keep from going to Hell and living out eternity in a pit of fire. I was willing to do anything to avoid that!
I spent the next twenty-five years with plenty of head knowledge about being a Christian. I could quote the scriptures, I won the Bible drills, taught Sunday school and rarely misses a Sunday at church. But when I was thirty six, my dad died and everything changed. Losing my earthly father who had always had the answer to any question and who could fix any situation, made me realize that I needed something more to depend on. Something that would last forever no matter who or what happened in my life. What I needed was Someone who would “stick closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. I needed my Abba Father.
In the summer of 1999, I made the decision to be baptized again. My family (especially my mom) didn’t understand why I was doing this. Where I come from, once baptized you’re good to go and there’s no need to go under again. But I knew in my heart that the first time wasn’t a heart experience and I knew it needed to be. That baptism meant more to me than anything I’ve done in a long time. And while I wish I could say that life has been rosy since then, the reality is that living the Christian life is hard and there are days when I’m not sure I’m getting anything right.
But the gift of baptism is one I treasure, and as Peter said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Act2:38
So, during this Christmas season, if you have not been baptized or if you want more information about what baptism is, just respond to this post. I’m more than happy to share my story with you.