I was recently asked what I thought my greatest failure in ministry has been. I immediately knew the answer. It went something like this: “I remember every person I’ve baptized who is no longer part of the Church (I keep a picture of me baptizing one by my desk as a reminder). I remember every couple I wasn’t able to help in marriage counseling. I consider it my failure that a greater percentage of the congregation doesn’t participate in Bible study or prayer meetings – and, directly related to that, I grieve that many of them have not embraced God’s commandments for their lives in the Word.” Alright, it probably wasn’t as well-organized as that, but that’s the gist of it.
That baptism thing gets me. A few years ago I had a tract (maybe a pamphlet) made in the form and size of a folding business card concerning baptism. I wanted to have it around for those times when I visited or ran into someone who had forgotten their baptism.
Here’s the text:
Remember your baptism.
It is the response of one who has heard the Gospel, repented, and put faith in Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:37,38; 8:12,35-38; 18:8).
It is a God-given picture of the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-22)
It is a God-given picture of new life in Christ, free from the bondage of sin and free to serve God will all you are (Romans 6:1-23; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:10-12).
It is the first step of obedience to the Church’s Commission to “make disciples.” It is followed by a life-long learning to obey Christ together as the Church (Matthew 28:18-20).
It is unifying, since through one baptism we are united to one Lord and His one Church (Ephesians 4:5).
It is the means by which God the Holy Spirit brings those who believe into His Church (Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Does your life reflect these truths of your baptism? If so, pray the Spirit will help you to continue growing in this reality proclaimed by your baptism. If not, humbly ask the Spirit to make your baptism the reality of your life and renew your fellowship with His Church.
Well? Do you remember? I hope so, because the man who baptized you and has been charged to keep watch over your soul (Hebrews 13:17) remembers.