August 31, 2011

Much Rejoicing

Both of our precious girls made a public profession of faith on Sunday evening.  What a joy and privilege to watch as our daughters were baptized before a large group of family and friends.
Since they both had accepted Christ as their Savior when they were very young, we wanted to wait until they were at an age that they would be able to remember this very special day.  We chose to wait until they individually made the decision to be baptized.  We simply told them that when they were ready, we would support their decision.  We've watched each of them grow by leaps and bounds in their personal spiritual journey this year, so we knew the timing was perfect.

Why baptism by immersion?  As a Christian, we want to be imitators of Christ.  He chose to be publicly baptized as an example to us (Matthew 3:13-17).  Are we more holy or saved because of baptism?  No, but it is obedience.  We believe that it is a representation of what has already occurred in our hearts:  cleansing by Jesus' death/burial/resurrection

When each of our children were babies we were part of a Baby Dedication service (some churches do infant sprinkling).  As a couple, we publicly stood before the church and committed to raising our children according to God's grace and mercy.  
Although we have much influence in our children's spiritual journey, we know that their relationship with God is a personal decision.  They are not "grandfathered" into heaven's fold because of our beliefs.  They must make a choice to open their hearts to Jesus.  

One of the greatest blessings in life has been to watch each of our children develop a personal relationship with God.  We believe that all are sinful (Rom.3:23) and need saving grace.  Jesus is the bridge that mankind needed to mend the gap between our sinfulness and God's holiness. (Rom. 3:24-25)  It is by his sacrifice alone that we are saved from ourselves (John 3:16).    Baptism isn't a "good work" that will help us get into heaven (Ephesians 2:8) it is a simple act of obedience in which we publicly say, 
"I was a sinner.  
I have accepted Christ as my Savior.  
I am saved by his grace.  
I am redeemed."

Rejoicing together!
(yes, I know his shirt is very distracting from this spiritual moment ... gotta love it!)

"If you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."  Romans 10:9-10


Richella said...

How wonderful! Oh, what a precious moment. We, too, treasure baptism by immersion. Isn't it an amazing thing to watch someone you love being baptized? Pass me the Kleenex, please! :)

Lori H said...

So exciting! Cindy and I had a similar experience, we were saved at a young age and then baptized around 12 and 13! So special for you all, and I know your girls will always remember this! Also, loved the way you shared the gospel... :)

Kellie said...

That is precious, Gretchen!! Love your witness to baptism, too. So important to know it is a step of obedience, but not what saves us. So happy for your girls!! Wonderful memories. :)

Mom said...

LOVE this post!!!!!

Thoughts for the day said...

This is awesome.
Last year my grand daughter who was in 6th grade wanted to be baptized and she was asking all kinds of questions for me to explain then she went home and talked it over with her mom and her mom said, "no you are not ready to be baptized."
It broke my heart.
This young lady loves the Lord deeply.
I pray for the day she will be 'ready' and her mom will not discourage her. Let the little children come...
My daughter is a believer she just needs to help her daughter explore the topic of baptism and faith.
(my grand daughters name is Faith Elizabeth)

Sarah said...

Rejoicing with you! I know that is has to be one of the happiest days of your life!

Amy said...

What a precious memory! And I love your teeny-tiny comment about the shirt.....made me giggle because yes, I was sitting there trying to read what it said. LOL!

heartland farmhouse said...

Took me back to the day when I was a kid & was baptized in the river near our farm.
Thanks for posting!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I'm rejoicing with you! What a special day for your family, and a milestone for your girls. I love that they were baptized together. :)

Bo said...

I love the priviledge to watch your family's beautiful faith.