Russ On Baptism

Last night our church baptized over 20 people [This posted on Tuesday but brother Russ is referring to Sunday night.-rey].
Embarrassingly, I have not been keeping up with Rey’s series on baptism, so I’m
not sure whether he has touched on this. However, I came away from this service
with a couple of thoughts that might contribute to what he is saying:

– Baptism (and the Lord’s Supper, but in a different way) is
a great equalizer. In the midst of the testimonies of people that were given
nobody cared whether they had been elected in eternity past or whether they had
exercised their faith. Though they go through a baptism class to help them
understand what they are doing, no detailed theological tests were given or
expected. The arguments that so often take up so much of our time here on the
blogs were no where to be seen here. Whether it was through a theological
system, current church trend, or circumstances beyond control, none of that
mattered. These people had been blind and now they could see! Interestingly,
the story of the man born blind in {{John 9}} is a wonderful testimony at the
baptism service. Here is a man whose theology was less than desirable (v. 25a)
but he knew one thing. The man whose voice he had heard was the man who had
healed him of something that was thought to be incurable. The man who could see
was ready to follow the voice of this healer and believe anything about him (v.
36-38) because He had redeemed and reconciled a part of his life that seemed
hopelessly lost. The man heard the shepherd’s voice and followed Him ({{John 10:4}}).
The testimony of those people last night was the same. In action and word they
said, “I may not know everything there is to know about this Jesus – but this I
do know: I was blind and now I see!”

– I wrote last week about ministering to ministers. One of
the greatest and most widespread dangers for anyone in vocational ministry,
IMHO, is cynicism. Spend a couple years in ministry with an elect few gnawing
at your every thought and action, see leaders destroy their ministries, the
passionate fall by the wayside and the godly receive lives worse than Job, and
its an easy path to go down. For me, baptism washes all this cynicism away. One
can’t be cynical as I listen to the power of the resurrection that is so
apparent in the testimonies of those who are, in obedience to God, publicly
proclaiming their faith in and commitment to Jesus. I cry at every baptism
service. I cry because of the wonder that God is still mighty and powerful and
working! I cry because I am guilty of the cynicism and forget that God not only
hasn’t lost but is winning! I cry as I rejoice with the redemption and
reconciliation of God that is so evident in these lives. There is no room left
for cynicism.

And, thus, at least in my mind, the reason why God not only
thinks it wise but commands us to place reminders in our lives of who He is,
what He does, and why He does it. Praise God for baptism!

-Pastor Russ-

The Full Series
1. Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
2. One Baptism Versus the Many?
3. Baptism and Big Problems
4. Baptismal Regeneration (Acts 2:28)
5. Deluge of Baptism Questions (Acts 1-22)
6. Baptism and Romans (Rom 6:1-11)
7. Noah and Baptism (2 Peter 3:20,21)
8. Paul On Baptism (1 Cor 1:14-18)

9. The Error of Infant Baptism


10. Remember Your Baptism (Rom 6:1-11)

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