Go And Baptize (Originally published on 10-28-13)
Matthew 28:19-20 tells us to go and make disciples of all nations by baptizing them and teaching them to observe the commandments of Jesus Christ. Wow! What an incredible honor we have to be called by God to help others fulfill what the Bible teaches.
In August, I went to Life Christian Church in Lansing, MI. My husband and I preached a sermon together. He preached the first part of the sermon, and I preached the end. At the end of the sermon, I felt God give me a word of prophesy for the congregation. I spoke the words, and I could feel the Holy Spirit begin to move and work. Several came to the altar, and others prayed in their seats. Peace, compassion, strength, love, and mercy flooded the sanctuary. It was beautiful.
A young woman remained at the altar when many had left. A woman who works for the church doing Bible Studies and leading groups was praying with her. I am glad the whole body of Christ ministers, and it doesn’t take only one person, but it takes the whole congregation. She received the Holy Ghost, and then wanted to be baptized. One of the pastors of the church came up to me afterward, and asked if I would like to do the baptism. Since I have my general license with the UPCI, and believe in the Biblical command of Matthew 28:19-20 I happily said I would.
I was a little nervous, because I had never baptized anyone before. I have seen several baptisms in my life, but I wasn’t exactly sure of how it went. I stepped up to the baptismal tank and I talked with the young woman. I explained baptism, and asked her if she was ready to be baptized into the name of Jesus Christ and also into the church. She agreed, and so I showed her how she could hold her hand over her nose to be baptized. We believe in full immersion baptism, and so she went all the way under the water and I invoked the name of Jesus Christ over her life. In this moment, this young woman became a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ and also became a part of the church from the very first humans Adam and Eve until the end of time. It was an honor to be able to baptize her, and pray with her afterward. We then sang the song “I’m so glad that I’ve been buried in the name of the Lord.”
Wow, it was an incredible experience. One of my greatest desires in life is to teach Bible Studies, and baptize people in the name of Jesus Christ.
There are several reasons why I was able to baptize a person. One reason is because the associate pastor gave me the opportunity to baptize this person. He could have easily baptized this person, but he created an intentional space to help mentor me and give me the opportunity to baptize this young woman. Another reason why I was able to baptize this young woman is because I have my ministerial license with the UPCI. If you feel called to ministry, you need to think about getting your license. It is important to be in unity with other believers, and to be accountable to people. And if you are wrapped up on its too much money for ministerial dues, get over it, and make a sacrifice. Baptizing one person is worth every bit of offering I paid for my ministerial dues.
I don’t know exactly how baptism works, the whole salvation aspect of it, but I believe in it. It’s amazing that someone can go into a tank of water, repent of their sins, and be offered the name of Jesus Christ over their life. It is amazing when someone is filled with the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost, and somehow they supernaturally speak in tongues. I can’t explain it, but I believe in it. That’s faith.
So, I say to you the same thing Matthew wrote thousands of years ago in Matthew 28:19-20: My friends go and make disciples, baptize them, and teach them the Bible.
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz