Remember in school when you had to write an essay and got halfway through it when you suddenly realised it wasn’t good enough? What did you do? You just grabbed that page in your notepad, tore it out, crushed it into a paper ball and threw it in the bin (and probably missed it). Then you had a brand new blank page on the notepad inviting you as if it were saying, ‘Let’s try again.’
Now imagine if you could do that to all the bad things you have done or have ever happened in your life until today. If you only could chuck your old life into the bin and start again…
That’s what baptism can do for you. It’s when you look at your life as it is, are not pleased at all with what you see, and wish you could get a second chance. It’s God’s way of giving you a brand new blank page and letting you rewrite the book of your life – and hopefully get it right this time.
This second chance at life is symbolised in the act of baptism – going into the water (symbol of cleansing and purity), then going under the water (symbolising the burying of your old life) and then coming up and out of the water (symbolising the rising of a new person). In the process you are assisted by a pastor who baptises you.
So how do you know you are ready for it?
Here are a few signs that show you the time is now:
- You often think about your life, the things you have done wrong and feel ashamed of them. You wish you could go back and change them or just be able to forget all about them.
- You recognise that only God can wipe out your record of wrongs. Good deeds can never fix bad deeds. Only God’s mercy and forgiveness can.
- You are really sorry for your mistakes. You want to change your life and never go back to the old ways again.
- You want to develop a new relationship with God and let Him guide you. You no longer want to do what you think is right, but what God says is right.
If you can identify with any of the above, then you should seriously consider being baptised in water.
Your next step should be to contact your pastor and talk it over with him. He will answer your questions and help you be sure that this is what you want to do, and how best to go about it.