Sunday, April 23, 2017

Baptism and Submission to God the Holy Spirit

So lately I have tried to be more responsive to the Spirit of God in his promptings in my life. This is as opposed to being dismissive outright or just not engaging in thought on the topic. In my life (as is common to many) I have struggled with assurance of salvation. I prayed the prayer “just in case” but generally knew of course that didn’t save me. I settled the issue of assurance mostly during college, when I had heard someone say that if the struggle results in wanting to commit to God, then it’s probably conviction of God; if it’s merely of guilt and despair, it’s probably of Satan. That resonated with me. I also made a profession of faith when I was very young, and it’s hard for me to remember a whole lot about it. I further realized that, whether that conversion was real or not (if it wasn’t, it is hard for me to point to one specific place that I was), I am converted: I am trusting in Jesus Christ, his finished work on the cross, that he is God the Son, lived a perfect life, died for my sins and was raised the third day. I further want to follow him and have seen evidence of the Spirit’s work in my own life. I may have prayed the prayer a hundred times, but none of those prayers have ever saved me; none ever could.

In any case, I had occasionally wondered if I was saved at the time I had my baptism as a child. If you made me guess, to this day, I’d probably say 60-40 that I was. However, I wasn’t sure. In times past, I had really not entertained it much, and just dismissed it out of mind. However, this time, I knew that God wanted me to reach out to a member of the pastoral staff at my church.

So I crafted an email to one of the pastors and explained my situation. We determined we would meet up at church to talk about it briefly. I told God my responses to the three possible outcomes: 1. If he told me I should undergo baptism, I would gladly submit. 2. If he told me not to worry about it, then I wasn’t going to worry about it. 3. If he told me it was up to me, I would pray about it for a week and get back to him. I honestly expected him to go the route of (3), or maybe (2). So I was surprised when he said, “Let’s do it!” For a moment, I worried about what people would think. Then I realized that it doesn’t matter; what matters is that I follow God and do what I told him I would do, in response to how I believed he was working things out.

So this past Sunday (Easter!) I was baptized. There’s a chance (see above) that I was just “getting wet,” but let me explain the idea. If this was my baptism, then I was being obedient to the Lord. I obviously have no regrets about that. If this wasn’t—that is, if I was saved when I was baptized as a child—then my testimony is one of being willing to follow God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as they lead, and being willing to submit to the authority of my local body of believers (the church). It may even resonate with others in the church. I obviously have no regrets about that!

In any case, it is by no means my mission to make someone doubt whether they are saved or have been properly baptized. That would be to miss my point. My point is that whatever the Lord is asking you to do, don’t ignore it. Let the Holy Spirit have his work in you, so that you will be the kind of person he wants you to be: conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.


  1. Great testimony of faithful obedience / obedient faith, under leadership of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Thanks for the kinds words, Don! May God bless you and your family. :)


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