Following in the Lord’s Footsteps
The Relevance of Baptism for the Christian
by Joanne Troppello
My parents attended a Dutch Reformed Church. As babies, my older brother and I were baptized (christened). Years later, we attended a Baptist church. That’s when I accepted Christ in my youth group and then got baptized. Eventually we ended up attending an Assemblies of God church.
I got saved when I was fourteen and baptized shortly after that. As a shy teenager, it was definitely hard for me to get up in front of the congregation and declare my love for the Lord. However, I knew it was a command of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20, NKJV) when he told His disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus gave the command for baptism, but He also got baptized too. When we get baptized after accepting God’s gift of salvation, we are following in the Lord’s footsteps.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. – Matthew 3:1-6 (NKJV)
Foundational Building Block
Getting baptized is a sign of obedience to the Lord. Obedience is one of the foundational building blocks of our relationship with God. If you are a new believer, I would encourage you to take that step of obedience to get baptized. Speak with your Pastor to check when they do baptisms. Our church offers a class for new believers and holds baptisms during the Sunday service every few months.
However, those classes are currently on hold due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions.
When you get baptized, you are publicly professing your faith in Jesus. You are letting your church family know that you are living for the Lord now. If you invited family members to attend the service, they will also witness your public confession. If they are not Christians, this can be an opportunity for them to see the Gospel message in action.
Just remember, that this public declaration means that your witness for the Lord should match up with your profession of faith. Sure, you will fall and sin again. We’re not perfect. We’re only human. However, your mission in life as a Christian—in addition to living for the Lord and allowing Him to guide your life—is to follow the Great Commission and share the Gospel message.
I wrote the following poem depicting the baptism of Jesus and the Holy Spirit coming down from Heaven upon Him in the form of a dove.
The Desert Land
The Spirit coming down
Coming down from Nazareth in Galilee
to the River Jordan—a Heavenly meeting—
He met a messenger with a voice
resounding in the desert air.
Cool waters closed over Him,
enveloping in its fulfilling
embrace, building the foundation.
The skies ripped open as He rose up
out of the watery grave, the Holy
Spirit falling on Him as a dove.
Booming from Heaven His Father
spoke to Him of His love.
Sent out to the desert near Jericho,
He became victor over temptation.
His love fills the River Jordan,
embracing weary travelers
wandering in from the desert land.
© Joanne Troppello
If you are saved, have you been baptized? What did that experience mean for you?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel.