In the church I get to serve in, we are honored to watch God move in the lives of so many people. One of the evidences of the Spirit’s movement in our church is witnessing people get immersed.
Some people who are baptized are brand new to Jesus and some who get baptized have loved Jesus for a long time but weren’t taught that baptism biblically is immersion, not sprinkling.
Either way, when someone makes this obedient decision, what should be done after they are baptized?
The short answer is: They should live with joy.
Baptism confirms the forgiveness of your sins through Jesus on the cross, it confirms that you have the Holy Spirit residing inside of you through your belief in Jesus and it confirms that God is preparing a place for you for eternity in heaven.
Since your past is forgiven, your present has the Spirit to help you and your future is secured eternally, you should live with joy. This is why Jesus came for us.
In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Since baptism is not the arrival of spirituality in Christ, but a step towards being more like Jesus, here are some practical disciplines to utilize that will develop what living with joy looks like:
(1) Pursue Getting To Know The Bible.
God has been so gracious to us in so many ways. One of His proofs of kindness is Him choosing to reveal Himself through the Bible and Him preserving the Bible for us so we could get to know Him.
If you want to discover how to get to know your Bible, you can read here.
In short, I recommend purchasing a Life Application Study Bible and going through the books of Genesis, John and James first before exploring the other 63 books in God’s holy Word.
Genesis will help you get to know God, His character, His plan and His unfailing love for broken people.
John will help you love Jesus more than you already do and see the Gospel come to life.
James will help you put into practice what you were able to discover and learn in Genesis and John.
Whatever book you choose to study the Bible, please take it slowly. You have the remaining days of your life this side of heaven to develop a love and discipline for Scripture.
The Bible is not a race, it’s a relationship. Get to know your Lord slowly.
You’ll also need to find a certain place and time to read. It takes 28 days to develop any new discipline into our lives and only 3 days to break that discipline so pick a spot in your day where you know you’ll be reading the Bible in the same place at the same time each day.
(2) Pursue getting to know Christian community.
What lies ahead for someone who gives their life to Christ and gets baptized is an adventure with Jesus. But it’s also a journey with Jesus’ family, the church.
For the baptized believer, the future holds questions, excitement, temptation, confusion, pain, answered prayers, unanswered prayers and a desire for friendship. Pursuing Christian community can support all of these things.
As Christians we cannot pursue our Groom (Jesus) and ignore His bride (the church). You were made to be in relationships with other Christians. Having Jesus in common is such a powerful bond.
It would be my prayer that you would grow in your love for God and for God’s people. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens another friend”.
Recently I went out to lunch with a man in the church I serve in, a man who had been in the church his entire life, and as he shared a crisis he was going through in his life, I asked him if he had any close, Christian same-sex friendships that he could lean on in his time of need.
He told me, “No. Not at all.”
This is not how it’s supposed to be.
Close Christians friendships will not fall in your lap, either. No matter how good a church is about systems and follow-up and assimilation, you’ll probably need to courageously put yourself out there to find relationships that will turn into friendships.
In the New Testament there are over 50 instances where the words “one another” are shared. We are to love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, praying for one another, forgive another, meaning, we are to be in the lives of one another.
Some church people have forgotten that they need to pursue Christian community. But you, you have newness and a revitalization in your life to make Christian friendships.
(3) Pursue your purpose in God’s Kingdom.
As a Christian, you’ve realized that your life is not about you, it’s about Jesus. You’ve also learned that you’re not created by accident to live without purpose, rather, God has uniquely created you to live with purpose, to make a difference.
Now that you’ve been made to be a disciple of Jesus, He calls you to help make other disciples around you (Matthew 28:19-20). All of us have a part to play in God’s kingdom, in God’s mission and every single person with each of their gifts are utterly valuable (1 Corinthians 12:12).
Jesus is entrusting you with so much talent, resources, experience and dreams to further HIs mission of love to the world. And our Lord isn’t as concerned with how blessed you are in life compared to how much of a blessing you can be to others.
How can you be serving at the church you were baptized in?
(4) Pursue other people in your life to share Jesus with.
Your belief in Jesus and decision to be baptized is a miracle. You realizing how much God has loved you through creating you, sending Jesus to die for you, forgiving you, giving you new life through the power of the resurrection, giving you the Holy Spirit to life out your purpose daily – YOU ARE A MIRACLE.
And that miracle needs to be talked about.
We talk with others easily whatever we are excited about. If you’re excited about what Jesus is doing in your life, you need to share it with the non-believers around you. You are a witness to how amazing Jesus is and a love for Him will fuel you to love others and loving them at the highest level is to tell them the good news you are experiencing.
(5) Pursue hanging onto Jesus in the storms of life.
After a spiritually high mountain-top experience, there are valleys. After baptism, there are attacks. You’ll need to be aware of the arrows that are going to be shot your way. There is a real, evil side to the spiritual world that hates how much you are growing in Christ and hates to think that you are living in joy.
When tempted, when tested, when broken-hearted, do not go back to your old life. You are not “old you” anymore, after baptism,
you are “new His”. Pursue Jesus in the storm. Do not let go of Him because He will never let go of you.
Hanging onto Jesus can be done best by Bible-reading, Christian community, joining the mission of God and being a witness to others around you of how amazing Jesus is.
My prayer for you is Ephesians 3:14-19:
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Thanks for reading. You are so loved!