In June, our church ended a sermon series, and traditionally before starting a new series we, as a church body, take the opportunity to celebrate communion. Communion services are by far my favorite services and this particular communion service was especially good because of the message we received that day. The sermon was on baptism and communion as public signs of grace. Exploring their purpose and place within the Christian life. If you would like to hear that message click here: Public Symbols of Grace
My Public Symbol of Grace
With that message in mind, this seemed like a good opportunity for me to share my baptism story. Not, my testimony, that would be a very long post. However, I do want to share that pure moment when I first felt the heart tug of the Lord.
My teen years were a very difficult time for me, my parents, my siblings, and anybody who cares for me. When I was 16, in an effort to help me, my parents with encouragement from loved ones, sent me on a senior youth group retreat. It was during that retreat that I first felt the heart tug of the Gospel message. I grew up in the Catholic Church and I had heard the message of the Gospel many times, but it was during that retreat in particular when I felt that need to have a personal relationship with Christ.
At the end of the retreat, the youth pastors held a baptism service, at the hotel pool, for anyone who wanted to make that statement. I don’t remember actually making the choice to be baptized but I do remember that I wanted to mark the moment I knew that something changed in my heart. The feeling of peace that surrounded me as I went under the water was like no emotion I had ever experienced and that peace stayed with me as I reemerged.
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Keep in mind:
Baptism does not save, it symbolizes. It does not dispense grace; it displays grace already given. That complete covering of the water symbolizes the complete cleansing power of that grace, of the complete forgiveness Jesus brings when we trust in Him for salvation.Dr. John Ewart
I wish I could say everything in my life got better and started to fall in place after that. But that was not what the Lord had in mind for the testimony of Him in my life. Little did I know what the years to come held for me; the darkness that I would face, the places I would be taken, and the many ways I would be led astray. How grateful I am that before those years came to pass my eternal salvation was already secured and publicly declared that day, in that pool, at 16 years of age.