Baptism: a Step of Obedience and a Public Profession
Here are some video reflections on baptism from NFL linebacker Demario Davis.
Just before ascending, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go, make disciples, baptize people in the name of the triune God, and teach them to obey all His commands (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism should be important to us because it’s important to Jesus.
When we are born again, we’re each “baptized” by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the church: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Water baptism is a visible outward symbol of an invisible, inward transformation (Acts 2:38).
My baptism was unforgettable. Two years later I had the privilege of leading my mother to Christ and baptizing her. That was forty-five years ago, but in my mind it was yesterday. How many things do we remember well four decades later?
Baptism is a powerful display symbolizing the believer’s death to sin, burial (beneath the water), and resurrection to new life in Jesus (Romans 6:11; Colossians 2:12). Rising out of the water represents the cleansed new life (Romans 6:4).
Wherever the Good News of Christ is proclaimed, new believers are to be baptized in a joyful ceremony. Philip shared the gospel with an Ethiopian official who, when he saw water, expressed his desire to be baptized (Acts 8:35–36).
As Demario emphasizes, Christian baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. A draft pick doesn’t hide his affiliation with his new team; rather, he proudly puts on the jersey for all to see. Likewise, in baptism we say, “I unapologetically affirm my faith in Jesus Christ, who secured my salvation. As His disciple, I unashamedly seek to serve and represent Him.”
In 1519, Cortés and his ships landed in Mexico, at Veracruz. Determined to conquer, Cortés ordered his crew to burn their ships. His not-so-subtle message was: “There’s no turning back.” Christ’s cause is infinitely nobler than that of Cortés, but He too calls us to not turn back (Luke 9:62). When we have struggles and doubts, we can look back at our baptism as a line drawn in the sand that states, “I am a Christ-follower, no matter what.”
Have you placed your faith in Jesus, and by His grace been saved? Have you been baptized? Baptism won’t save you, but it’s a powerful public expression of following Christ. If you love Jesus but haven’t been baptized, go to your church, talk with a pastor, and ask to be baptized in front of the body of Christ. You’ll never regret it!
This blog is excerpted from a five-day devotional I wrote for Sports Spectrum, available on YouVersion. Each day’s entry features video reflections from NFL stars, including Drew Brees, Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Slater, Matt Forte, and Demario Davis. They discuss topics such as the daily refreshment of God’s Word, prayer, salvation, baptism, and the courage to tell others about Jesus. Below each video, I share some additional reflections.