Hey there Refugees! Welcome to our brand-new Refuge Long Beach Blog.
Think of this blog as a conversation starter. We’ll have a variety of different writers and view-points along the way, but our anchor will always be Christ-centered.
Our prayer is to use this blog as another avenue of drawing us closer to the Lord while also challenging us as we navigate through this crazy world.
Refuge Long Beach Baptism
It is my belief that all Christians ought to be baptized. The reason is simple. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24,
‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.’
If we take Jesus’ call to ‘Follow’ Him seriously, then we must look at what Jesus did, and then…follow Him. One of the first acts of Jesus’ ministry was His own baptism.
It was actually kind of a funny scene. When Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized, John didn’t want to do it. John said, “I need to be baptized by You (Jesus), and do You come to me?”
Jesus promptly put aside any doubt John may have had, and simply said, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
It was during Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like a dove, and His Father in heaven declared, “This is My Son in Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
Jesus’ baptism kicked off the beginning of His incredible ministry, which culminated with His death on the cross and resurrection.
So, why is it important for all Christians – those who belong to Jesus – to be baptized? Simple. Baptism is following Jesus. Baptism is a witness to the world that we belong to Jesus. Baptism is an act of identifying with Jesus.
I’ve met many young Christians who have been on the fence when it comes to baptism. Most of them feel they aren’t ‘clean’ enough – or sinless enough. They feel they have to wait until their lives reflect a ‘cleanness’ that is actually impossible to attain.
Others have stated they don’t need to be baptized to get to heaven, so why do it? Fair enough. Baptism is not a work unto salvation, so you don’t need to be baptized to get there…BUT, why wouldn’t you want to be more like Jesus? Why wouldn’t you want to follow Jesus in all things – baptism included?
If we go through life as a Christian and choose not to get baptized, then we miss out on a big part of what it means to follow Jesus. In fact – when it comes to following Jesus, baptism seems like a no-brainer. It is something He did so clearly (it is recorded in all four Gospels) and something we have the capacity to follow.
It comes down to our willingness to want to honor Jesus. When we surrender to Jesus and follow Him in baptism, we show the world He is our Lord and Savior. It is a great witness to those around us – family, friends, and even strangers on the beach!
So how about YOU? Are you on the fence about being baptized? Now is the time to pray and ask the Lord to give you clear direction, and then follow Him.
And…it just so happens, we have a Baptism Service coming up at Refuge Long Beach! Come out on Sunday, September 29, and you’ll have your chance. We’ll be meeting for regular service at church, and then, right afterwards, head out to Colorado Lagoon (a few blocks from church) for our Baptism and Picnic! If you haven’t been baptized, come on out and go for it! I guarantee you, you will NEVER regret it!
God bless you, Refuge Long Beach!
Pastor Robbie Boyd