Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why Rebaptism?

When I visited the Holy Land last November, I was excited to be baptized in the Jordan River, the same river where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This was actually the third time I have been baptized since trusting Christ to be my Savior. My initial baptism was when I was eight years old at the church I grew up in as a child. This was done by the mode of single immersion where I was dipped once backwards into the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In my mind, this was the day that I, in faith and obedience, followed the Lord in water baptism.

At the age of 22 I was re-baptized by trine immersion at the Grace Brethren Church where I began my ministry life as a youth pastor. Why did I choose to get baptized again? I was convinced that God had called me to minister in a church that believed and practiced trine immersion and required in their constitution that all of their members be baptized by trine immersion. I could see the Biblical support for this mode and saw nothing unbiblical with what the leadership of the church was asking me to do in order to be a member of that church. Did this mean that I was saying that my first baptism didn’t count, or was somehow wrong or heretical? Absolutely not. I was simply being obedient to what God had called me to do and to what God was teaching me in my life.

I then was baptized a third time in the Jordan River. Why did I do this? I did this because I wanted to publicly identify with Christ in the very river where Jesus was baptized when He walked the earth. I have come to the conclusion that it is a privilege to identify with the God of the Bible in this very beautiful and very Biblical manner.

Here at Grace Church, our constitution is written in such a way that to be an official member of our local church, along with trusting Christ as your Savior, you also must be baptized by trine immersion. Why? If trine immersion is the mode of baptism we teach and practice as a church, it only makes sense that we would ask all of our members to be baptized by this mode. This is not saying that any baptism you have had previous to coming to Grace Church didn’t count or was somehow a heretical action. If you have already been baptized by another mode of baptism other than trine immersion, and you believe that God has called you to Grace Church, let me offer three reasons why you should pray about and consider being re-baptized and joining the church.

1. The reason of FACT! Trine immersion has biblical support. You are not being asked to do anything contrary to Scripture.

2. The reason of FOLLOWSHIP! If you truly believe that Grace Church is where God has called you to roll up your sleeves and serve the Lord until He comes, then being re-baptized is an act of followship to the leadership of the church

3. The reason of FAITH! Without faith it is impossible to please God. To take this step of faith and be re-baptized can only be a good thing.

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