The ocean breezes swirled the loose sand on the beach. Our family joined a group of college students who were gathered to witness my daughter getting baptized in the ocean near her university campus. As my daughter professed her faith in Jesus Christ, the pastor immersed my daughter in the ocean. Applause broke out and our family hugged one another. As we celebrated, I reminisced about the events that led to this day.
My wife and I are Christians and we raised our daughter in a Christian home and attended church. While it was important to provide a nurturing and caring family, centered around God, we knew these actions alone do not save a person. The decision to become a Christian can only be made when one understands who Jesus Christ is and why one needs Him as a personal Savior. I fondly remember the day my daughter was saved when she was eleven years old. Our family prayed together as she confessed and repented of her sins and accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Through the ensuing years, she grew as a Christian. However, it was not until she matriculated to college did her spiritual life dramatically change. She became involved in a Christian fellowship group and her life soon revolved around its activities as she re-committed her life to serve Jesus Christ. My wife and I were elated when she informed us that she desired to follow God’s command to make a public confession of her faith and be baptized.
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.
1 Peter 3:21 (NLT)
Some Christian denominations baptize their children at birth or as a baby. It is a lovely tradition to dedicate one’s child to God and seek His blessings upon their child, however, this baptism does not mean salvation. Water baptism is the outward confirmation of the inner transformation of the person when they confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is our personal response to God and a testimony to the power of the Resurrection, acknowledging a new life. A newborn infant or baby is incapable of understanding this and making this confession. However, there is an age of accountability, which differs for every person. Only God knows when this age is and at that point, He holds each person accountable to seek Him and understand their need for Jesus Christ and salvation.
I praise God for His faithfulness to my daughter and our family. Ten years after she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, she publicly declared it to the world through her baptism.
May all who are seeking the Truth, find it by faith in belief in Jesus Christ.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.