Bob Beasley lives in Ontario, Canada. His three-year-old daughter, Rena, sat with him during a worship service when believer’s water baptism was being observed. A new experience for her, she asked, “Why he push that guy in the water, daddy?” Bob’s wife tried to quietly and briefly explain, but Rena was not satisfied. Later that evening, Bob told her in the simplest of terms that when people accept Jesus, they want to “do good” and obey Him, thanking Him for washing away their sins. He also explained that we do “this good” in front of others who love Jesus. However, Rena was still puzzled and asked, “Why didn’t Pastor Bob just spank him?”
Children and adults often struggle with understanding the mysteries of Christ’s work and even the symbolic ordinances of the faith. Of course, being immersed in water as a witness, whether in a worship service in the church facility or at the beach, does not cleanse us of our sins. It is a reminder of what Christ has done for us and in us, and then what we do for Him in a public profession. Thankfully, we don’t have to get “spanked!” It helps that we require our precious children to go through a “First Steps” class before baptism.
I want to allay any fears that you might have about being scripturally baptized. You do not have to be an expert swimmer. Your job is to relax, bend your knees, and allow one of the pastors to lower you down quickly into the water and raise you up again. You are not held under until bubbles form! I personally have baptized thousands of people in the last 47 years and have never lost one yet!
As sinners saved by grace, we are all grateful for the Lord’s mercy and healing. The most jarring TV commercial in 1999 was without dialogue, but showed a wrestler with a cauliflower ear, a surfer with a shark bite, and a rodeo bull rider with a huge scar around his eye that left him blind in that eye. For Christians, the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” means that our scars remind us of Jesus’ healing and total acceptance. But our beauty is not found in us, but in Him. As the rocker, Joe Cocker, sang, “You are so beautiful to me,” baptism reminds us of the Lord’s acceptance of us through grace. You are His special child!