Christians believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation occurs only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as sufficient payment for his or her sin.
After accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the next step is baptism, which is an opportunity to publicly declare to others that one has accepted Christ and is now walking with Him. Baptism is a way of showing others that one has entered a relationship with Jesus Christ. It symbolizes what took place in the heart at the time of salvation.
On March 3rd, we held our first baptism ceremony of 2019 for four students: Christine (sophomore), Jina (sophomore), Josh (junior), and James (junior). We had our Sunday Genome Sciences Building, where Christine and Josh publicly shared their testimony. Christine spoke about how God nudged her heart, urging her to seek out meaningful and genuine relationships with the people in her life. Josh shared how God pulled him out of his sins and struggled through the help of his A2F peers and leaders.
After Christine and Josh shared, Pastor Steve gave a short message, echoing their sentiments and reminding us that Christian life is not a one-time choice, but an ongoing journey. We are qualified for Christianity because we fail, not because we earned the right from what we have accomplished.
“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”
Pastor Steve explained that every single one of us will find ourselves stuck in that miry pit, but God hears our silent cry. He will come to rescue us from the pit of despair and destruction, and oftentimes his preferred way of reaching out is through the people around us.
“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!”
We are all poor and needy in certain areas of our lives, but as the verse proclaims, God takes care of our needs when we reach out to Him.
After service, everyone gathered at One Life Community Church for baptism. Jina shared how God called her to recognize her selfish desires and pride, drawing her to fix her relationship with God and with those around her. James shared that God released him from his apathy and gave him a purpose to live his life more meaningfully.
With Pastor Steve supporting them, the four students were symbolically washed clean from their sins by going under the water (dead to old life), then rising again (new life).
As Christine, Jina, Josh, and James publicly acknowledged their faith in God, the room was filled with songs of praise and joy, and we reveled in God’s amazing grace that magnificently transformed the precious lives of these students.