Hope for Living: Baptism is both unifier and declaration


John Wakeman is pastor of Greenfield Faith Church.

Our God is truly a great God! He is the One who created us, sustains us and shows us the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ. Wouldn’t we all like to share our God with our friends and family?

As Christians, we can have assurance that we belong to God by the fruit we produce for the Kingdom. To the world, the faith we possess seems like a folly (Corinthians 1:20). Unbelievers cannot see an invisible God, so we should show them something they can see. If we are obedient to Christ’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, to witness to the world, we will let them see us. We should be “Jesus with skin on.”

To be an effective witness, we need to have unity and harmony as one body in Christ. Every Christian should follow the teachings of Jesus. And each congregation should have one common faith in the foundational beliefs found in the Bible.

The world should not see division and conflict in the Church. This would be a stumbling block to those who could become Christians. Instead, the Church should be a welcoming and appealing place people are attracted to.

We should convey the hope of eternal life for those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus for the payment of our sins. Christians will have a marked difference in their lives. The world will see that the old life has gone, and now a new creation has come. We are called to share the hope that resides within us.

Even if non-believers are blind to the inward change in Christians, we should offer outside signs as well. Public declarations through sacraments like Holy Communion can be observed. Baptism is probably the best sacrament for outsiders to observe because it can be done in a public river or lake.

Baptism is a public declaration that an inward change has occurred. Baptism is not a work that will save us. No work will ever save us except the saving work of Jesus on the cross. We are obedient to His command when we are baptized. Baptism unites us with other Christians and shows the world that we worship and serve one God.

There are many views regarding baptism, but don’t let them cause division. A little 5-year-old girl was watching an infant baptism at church one Sunday. The little girl asked her mother, “Why is that baby being brain washed?” In time she will learn, as should we.

We can witness to the lost world around us through baptism. We are one in the Body of Christ, and we have one baptism we partake in that unites all believers.

In this way, the world may know that God is approachable and loves them. They can know that God desires them to hear His calling in their lives.

This will bring God more honor and glory, and have an eternal impact on His Kingdom.

John Wakeman is pastor of Greenfield Faith Church. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.