My husband and my 11-year-old will both be wearing swim suits to church on Sunday. No, we aren’t going swimming at the Y after church. They actually need the suits for church. No, they aren’t in some cool skit. But, they will be getting in a pool, right there in the middle of church. I’m sure some of you reading this know exactly where I’m going with this. But I’m sure others are totally confused.
My husband, Jeff will be baptizing our oldest son, J on Sunday. Someone said to me, “I don’t understand what that means. Is it a confirmation? It it a communion? Wasn’t he baptized as a baby?” So I thought I’d use today’s post to explain why our son is choosing to be baptized.
My husband and I, and our church practice what is called a believer’s baptism instead of infant baptism. What that means is that the individual is responding to their decision to follow Christ instead of the parents making that decision for them. When all of our sons were born, we presented them to the church in what is called a baby dedication. In this ceremony we, as their parents, vowed before the church and God that we would raise our children in the church and teach them about God. We were recognizing that our children belonged to God and He had entrusted them into our care. But ultimately the decision whether our children decide to accept Jesus as their savior and to make Him Lord of their life by loving, honoring, obeying, trusting, and following Jesus lies with them, not us.
We are extremely excited that J has made that decision. J wants “to be closer to God” and knows that by being baptized he is demonstrating this desire.
So what will happen on Sunday? Jeff and J will get into the pool at church. J will confess that Jesus is God, died for him, and that he desires to follow Jesus. Jeff will physically support J as he goes backwards fully immersed into the water. Then, Jeff will bring him back to a standing position. Everyone will probably clap and of course I’ll probably be crying.
Why do we do it this way instead of just sprinkling water on his head? Because that’s how they did it in the Bible times. Several places in the Bible, baptisms are described and they are all full body immersion, usually in a river.
We believe that entering the water is representative of Jesus dying for our sins and being buried in the tomb and that rising out of the water is representative of Jesus rising from death.
J is 11 and has decided to be baptized, not because that is the age you get baptized, but because he wants to follow Jesus. There is not a specific age for a believer’s baptism, because there is not a specific age that people make the decision to follow Jesus. Jeff was baptized at 14, I was 25ish. I’m sure on Sunday there will be men, women, and children of all ages being baptized and I can’t wait! I’ll probably right more about it next week and post pictures!