I was baptised on 30 October 1988. It is a historic day in my life. Each year I look back at my life and rejoice at the grace of God. “By the grace of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV). It is a day I value as much as I value the day I was born and the day I got married.
It is also the day I died. I died to my old self. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:2). My life is hidden with Christ in God. “When Christ, who is my life, appears, then I also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). It is in the reality of this mystery, that I am here today.
Many decisions I have made over the last 33 years were a result of the fact that I was baptised on that day. The friends I have met and kept, or not kept over the years. The girls I dated, or did not date. The places I have visited. The foods I ate. The drinks I enjoyed. The books I have read. How I have spent my money. My life has been defined by this new identity. This is the case for many like me. Baptism is a life-changing event, not because your life changes the day you are baptised, but because from that day your life starts to change. It may be a slow change, but is surely happening. It’s like when a child is born. You don’t notice it as they grow each day, but one day you realise how much they have grown.
Baptism is not just a ritual Christians undergo. For me, it is loaded with rich meaning. My baptism reminds me that:
- I have received the Holy Spirit
- I have been adopted as the son of God in Jesus
- I have repented of my sins
- I am forgiven – God no longer counts my sins against me
- I am redeemed and righteous in Jesus Christ
- I participate in Jesus’ humanity
- I am seated with Christ in heaven
- I am in fellowship with God and all believers past, present and future
- I am a child of God.
What does your baptism mean to you? Or have you not been baptised? God willing, I will be celebrating another anniversary on the 30th of October.