I have always been embarrassed that I was baptized twice. I haven’t analyzed “why” too much, but I always dreaded telling my story because it eventually came up.
Thursday night was the first time I was okay with it. My heart didn’t pound when my turn came to share and my story of re-baptism surfaced.
Thursday night Scott and I met some college students at Highway Church. One of his students wanted to be baptized. She had been baptized when she was 12, but had lots of questions. She believed that recently she had been taught the way more fully as Apollos had. She wanted to be immersed Thursday night.
Afterwards, we sat around together on the floor of the church stage, the 10 or 12 of us, prayed for her and offered words of encouragement. It was a precious time and I felt honored to be there.
Watching her, I saw a reflection of myself years ago. I saw the desire to be pleasing to God, the willingness to follow him, the doubts, questions, and uncertainity that shadowed her earlier baptism.
I didn’t want that uncertainity for her. I want her to be confident in her salvation. Confident in God’s forgiveness. Confident in her place in the kingdom of God.
I remember when questions about my baptism grew so loud that they could not be ignored and I was baptized again.
I am thankful for the act of baptism. The whole-ness of the act. Our entire bodies are involved. All of our being takes part of the grace that has been offered to us.
My prayer for this sweet child of God is that she will be able to accept that His grace is sufficient for her.
Questions still arise for me concerning my own baptism. Did I really understand? Did I please God with my actions? Did I hurt him with my questions? My conclusions? Did I undermine the work of the Lord in my life by being baptized again? Did I, like Peter, only need my hands washed? Or was I like Apollos and had been taught more fully?
Baptism the second time did not eradicate my questions like I thought it would. I still have questions…not as loud….not as demanding as they once were.
The best answer I have is: His grace is sufficient. I did not have it all correct when I was 8. I did not have it all figured out some 20 years later. If I were to be baptized again today, I can be assured that I do not understand God’s plan perfectly. How could I presume to know the mind of the Lord?
Saved by grace. I am saved by grace. Not by complete understanding. Not by the correct piecing together of scripture. I am saved by his extraordinary grace.
I continue to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Wish I knew what that really meant. I don’t know how much I have exactly worked out, but the fear and trembling part I’ve got down!
But I do know this:
He has promised that his grace is sufficient. He has promised that I have everything I need for life and godliness. The promises of the Lord. That is all I really have. And he is faithful.