Baptism: Take Your Step

Cleansing Power

Hello GracePoint Family,

I slowly entered the fiberglass tub hidden behind the platform walls in the sanctuary. I nervously held a piece of white paper in my hands with handwritten scribbles of my testimony. I was next. The congregation clapped for my friend Brent and then Brother Miller extended his hand to me to help me towards the middle so I could face the congregation.

Hoping my adolescent voice would not crack, I began to read my testimony and share what God had done in my heart. After I was finished, I turned to the side and my pastor gently wrapped his arm around me and held onto my other arm as I plugged my nose. And then it happened. After declaring sacramental words, my pastor submerged me in the water and brought me back up. I was baptized.

We come from various backgrounds and baptism is something that we can have diverse experience with, even no experience at all. Perhaps you have never been baptized, maybe you have questions about what it is or its importance, or maybe you were baptized as an infant, or maybe your experience was like mine and you were baptized after making a profession of faith in Christ.

Wherever you may find yourself with baptism, it is important for us to remember our baptism and live it out. If you haven’t yet been baptized it is important to make it a point of prayer.

Christian baptism is a sacrament signifying participation by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and incorporation into His Body, the Church. It is a means of grace proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The Apostle Paul declares that all who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death. We are buried with Him through baptism so that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too are raised to walk in newness of life. As we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be united with Him in His resurrection.

Jesus, in His fullness, was baptized by John the Baptist before His earthly ministry began and we are called to share in this act as well. Galatians 3:27 says, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” 1 Peter 3:21 continues, “And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

I would love to be able to celebrate the baptism of people at GracePoint. If you have not been baptized, would you pray about taking that step of faith in your life and embrace a significant act and testimony of God’s work in your life?  If you would like to know more, have questions over baptisms, or would like to take that step I would love to talk with you. You can reach me by email (leadpastor@ashlandgracepoint.com) or by phone (541-482-1784). Since my baptism I have had many struggles, failures, and victories. We are always a work in progress. But there is something powerful about remembering the day that I stepped into those waters.

Looking forward,

Pastor Phil