Biblical Womanhood

My Second Baptism

January 22, 2016

Baptism | www.sarahkeller.com

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail not too long ago- these photos of my second baptism! I was baptized in January of 2013 on our last Sunday at the most wonderful church we’ve ever been blessed to be a part of, and it’s a true gift to have it documented in pictures. This was technically my second baptism, the first being at the age of eight. But in this case, there was something that wasn’t quite right; I didn’t have a genuine relationship with Christ at the age of eight- some children do, but not me- nor did I understand what the biblical model of baptism meant at that age.

But praise God that He kept pursuing me through my childhood and into my early adulthood, and once He did give me the gift of genuine faith and salvation, I had a moment of clear conviction that I needed to be baptized again.

Annnd, I ignored it…

For a few reasons: 1) I didn’t want to get out of the pew and actually do something in front of people, because that meant stepping out of my comfort zone. 2) I didn’t want to publicly admit that I’d been putting it off and living in disobedience to God’s Word and to His personal call. 3) I didn’t want to look out of place as a 28 year old being baptized when you usually only see eight year-olds {ha!} and new believers doing it. Oh, the excuses I weave together when I want to resist God!

But, consistent as He is, He kept reminding me. And finally, after about six years of feeling Him tug, He gave me the courage to- finally- step out in faith and do it! And let me tell you, it was more beautiful than I could ever have anticipated. It happened in the knick of time- at our last day at our church in Georgia before moving to New York. Our Pastor was so incredibly kind and gracious and turned the occasion into a short message about why I was being baptized a second time, as well as some of the amazing things God had been doing in our family. And the cherry on top was being surrounded by dear, dear friends. But regardless of those things, all that really mattered was that the name of Jesus was proclaimed and that by His grace, His patience, and His strength, I was finally stepping out in obedience to Him.

On that note, let’s face it; being baptized is no where near as scary as I was making it out to be. There was absolutely no reason to allow myself to shy away from doing it for so long. This was my chance to follow Jesus’ own example- see Mathew 3:13- out of love and commitment to Him. To identify myself as His own, as awkward, as hopelessly flawed, and as sinful as much of my life is. And it was such a tiny act in comparison to what He subjected Himself to on the cross. Yet even taking this simple step of faith and pursing a second baptism had little to do with me, because I didn’t summon up the courage to do it on my own. This was all an act of God, in every facet, and I know that He’s the One who shined that day!

And then…relief. There’s such joy in a clear conscience before God!

Obviously there are different opinions on how to interpret what the bible says about baptism, and I really don’t think that this is an issue that should ever divide the family of God. So if you’re in a different camp of thought on this topic, that’s okay! As long as we’re all doing our best to continutally read, learn, and prayerfully examine what the bible says about any and every issue, we’re on the right track. In the case of baptism, there are a few very clearly stated truths and examples. We know for a fact that baptism is “not the removal of the filth of the flesh” (1 Peter 3: 21b), for no outward cleansing or work of man can purify us from our sins or reconcile us to God*. But instead, baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 3:21c). And this “good conscience toward God” is exactly what being baptized a second time as a mature, believing adult gave me. It allowed me to obey His command (Mathew 28:19-20), to demonstrate my repentance, (as called for in Acts 2:38), and to follow the biblical model of baptism which Jesus Himself demonstrated in Mathew 3:13.

I’m so, so thankful for His patience with me over the years- in so much more than just this, trust me- and I hope that I can encourage you if you’re a believing adult with the same circumstances. If you think you may need to re-baptized- or even baptized for the first time- go for it! You’ll be amazed at how He blesses you.

Praise God for His goodness!

P.S. You can’t tell from the photos, but baby Silas got dunked too!

NOTE
*For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God… {Ephesians 2:8}

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