Sacrament is a word that at one point meant little to me but now signifies a great deal. When I first started hearing about sacraments such as baptism and the Eucharist (communion), I believed them to be unnecessary. They seemed to be actions people took if they wanted to express what they believe in a really religious way. I felt sacraments were age-old rituals devoid of any applicable meaning, at least, in the modern context. Why get baptized? Why the Eucharist? Before I proceed, I would like to clarify this was my view when I first became a Christian. My perception has obviously changed (at the time I did not intend to get married, another Sacrament).
I should probably provide some context as to why I am addressing sacraments. There have been plenty of opportunities for me to get baptized before, but my excuses were: wanting my parents present, in the Jordan River, by a particular person, or in front of my church family. None of these were valid reasons for not getting baptized and at the root of this procrastination was my desire not to be seen. I have struggled with wanting to drift through life unnoticed. I worked through this a great deal while on the World Race in 2015 and since then I have had a growing desire to be baptized. Yet every time an opportunity presented itself I would excuse it saying: not the right time, I don’t have a bathing suit, or I flat-out forgot, true story.
God began seriously tugging at my heart and while in South Carolina God said, “It is time.” So during my time in Charleston, my good friend, Derek, baptized me in the chilly Atlantic Ocean. It was an outward expression of what I live out and value most. I have moved from death to life and my baptism is a way of identifying that transformation.
It demonstrates that I have been purified and regenerated. Baptism is a public display saying God is the greatest treasure in my life. Nothing is of more importance than bending the knee and saying “Thy will be done.” Anyone that has met me in recent years would not deny my devotion to God, and baptism symbolizes the commitment to devoting myself to God. My life is not my own but His. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Finally, my last few reasons are obedience and connection. Since the dawn of Christianity believers have been baptized as an outward sign of an inward divinely transformed self. Looking at it this way brought a sense of connection to other Christians in the present and throughout history, including with our Lord. Not only was this action making the statement God is number One, but an act of timeless fellowship. Since the early church Christians have obediently chosen to be baptized honoring the Great Commission. “All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18-19
There truly needs to be no other reason than obedience. Remaining true to the Word of God and following His commands takes precedence in our lives. So walk in obedience, show the world you have been redeemed and reformed by God, love and live radically, and know that God has a mighty plan for your life.