Baptism on Monday
Dr. Jim Denison
A couple of weeks ago, the Dallas Morning News carried one of the strangest stories I’ve seen in a while. It seems that Beverly Mitchell of Douglasville, Georgia came home from 2½ weeks in Greece to find a stranger living in her house. Beverly Valentine broke in with a shovel, ripped up the carpet, took down the owner’s pictures and replaced them with her own. She had the electricity switched over to her name, and moved in a washer, a dryer, and a dog. She was even found wearing some of Ms. Mitchell’s clothes when she was apprehended. Just because someone is living in a house doesn’t make it theirs.
Just because you and I are in church today doesn’t mean we’re in Christ. We can be faithful attenders; we can serve on committees and sing in the choir; we can give through our various missions offerings, teach Bible studies and preach sermons, but still be lost spiritually. And we can be baptized and just get wet.
The most misleading and misunderstood symbol of salvation in a Baptist church is baptism. Many people think that baptism makes them a Christian. Many of our guests don’t understand why we baptize the way we do. Many of our members don’t really know what baptism means, either. And many of us can miss the present-tense relevance of an act we experienced years ago.