Yes, I do know this is a very odd question but i do know I have your attention as well. Momentum is just now three months old and we are getting ready to celebrate our first baptisms. In preperation for this we have recently brought some teaching on the subject. So, following are some excerpts from that message.
Being baptized is more than just a ceremony… It’s a process of identification! Take a moment to read Mark 8:34-38 and come right back… When we identify ourselves with Christ in baptism we are declaring to the world that I am not ashamed, that I lose my life for the Gospel and that I am all in!
In the 1st century many of the disciples who would be baptized were killed because of their identification with Christ. So, baptism was more than just a touchy-feely ceremony where you get a nice certificate and go out to eat with family afterwards. It was a stamp or seal that put cross-hairs on their forehead.
Baptism in our time has lost its meaning. We have “watered it down” (pun intended) and it has become just another ritual.
What could happen if we took the waters of Baptism more seriously?
The Greek word for baptism is “Baptizo” which means dunk, dip or submerge and was used to speak of a battleship that has been sunk. This is not to be confused with the Greek work “Bapto” which means to dip.
The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptized) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. -Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.
You see some Christians enter into the waters of baptism and look at it more like “bapto” as if they have the option to return to their former self. However, the opposite should be the case. As we are baptized “baptizo” we are fully and totally changed in every way as is the case of the cucumber being transformed into the pickle. There is no way possible for it to return to its former state. It looks, tastes and smells completely different without the hope of ever returning to its previous identity as a cucumber. As a believer is submersed into the waters of baptism he is risen to new life in Christ never to return to his previous identity. His identity now is in Christ as his appearance, motivations and passions are now found in a new identity in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
So, we return to the question that started this discussion. Have you been pickled? If you are a believer you must be baptized and there is no better time than the present! As we reference the Mark 8 passage (that you were supposed to go read!) it says…
38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38
Let today be the day you decide that you are not ashamed and are willing to go “all in”, and I do mean literally!
Momentum is having its first baptism service on May 6 and we would love to include you! Email us if you are interested or if you have questions. Email Momentum Now!