Yesterday I wrote about how important it is to get Born Again. I wrote about that we should repent, get baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit. Although it sounds easy and Peter is very clear about it during Pentecost (see Acts 2,38), for me it was not that easy.
I thought I was baptized six days after my natural birth. In the church tradition I grew up in, it is taught that every child of believing parents should get baptized. It is believed there that baptism is the sign of the New Covenant from God with the believers. Just as circumcision was in the times of the Jews. Later I learned that there is no reference in the New Testament of baptism as sign of the New Covenant. Jesus only refers to his blood (the cup at the Lord’s Supper, see Matthew 26,27-28) as sign of the New Covenant. I also learned that the general teaching about baptism (for someone who doesn’t have believing parents), is that someone has to repent and believe before they get baptized.
Although I grew up as a christian, I was not really living for Jesus at that time. I did believe in what was taught in the church and was even confirmed there, but Jesus was not relevant for my everyday life. Later I repented on the 5th of August 2011. I didn’t realized that I repented because I taught that I was a christian all my life. However, I realized later that my life before my repentance was totally different from my life after my repentance, even though I had to grow in faith and needed to learn how to live in freedom. As I described yesterday, it is good to leave your old life behind through repentance and get baptized to break with your old life. Also, being baptized in the Spirit enables us to live according to God’s will and not according to the desires of the flesh. For me it was not that easy, because on one hand I didn’t immediately realized that I became a follower of Jesus and also that no one around me could teach me to get born again.
Therefore, I want to share this testimony and other posts with you to encourage to get completely born again. In the years after I had repented, it came back to me several times that it would be good to get baptized on my own faith with full immersion. I didn’t get convinced immediately. Mainly because most people didn’t had good reasons why I should get baptized ‘again’. The most important reason seemed to be that Jesus was baptized and I had do it as well to follow Jesus’ example. But no one ever got crucified to follow Jesus’ example. Besides, I was still thinking about baptism as just a sign, so I thought it wouldn’t botter to get baptized as a baby or as an adult.
Struggling about this, I asked more people about it and also God was working in my heart to convince me. Someone explained to me that the Bible teaches us that people first repented and then got baptized. This started with John the Baptist and continued with the Apostles after Pentecost. From then on I realized that I repented in 2011 and needed to get baptized. It was June 2014 at that time and I didn’t know where to get baptized.
I didn’t want to get baptized in some random evangelical church where they still see baptism as a kind of ritual, even though they baptize people as adults. For me it was a choice to leave my old life behind and not just a ritual. It was very serious to me, because I knew my parents and others didn’t want me to get baptized as an adult. In the church tradition I grew up in, it is a sin to get baptized as an adult after getting baptized before (as a baby). I found a proper church close to my place and found out they were baptizing people in two weeks. I wanted to get baptized, but two weeks seemed really fast and didn’t know how to share about it with my parents in the mean time. At that time I read about a Muslim who chose to follow Jesus, even though it costed him his relation with his parents. I realized that I probably would not loose that much and had to obey Jesus no matter the costs. I knew I had to leave my old life behind and follow Jesus, not because my parents liked it, but because I found Jesus more important than anything else in my life.
I was still wondering how I should tell my parents. I really didn’t know what to do, so I decided to pray God to help me and give me an answer. I asked God to give me an answer in a way that I would recognize it as his answer. The next day I was reading a little Bible study with my roommate. It was about a story of Gideon (you can find it Judges 6). Gideon receives the task from God to destroy his father’s altar and pole to worship idols. Gideon is obedient, but, afraid for his family, he does so at night. Still he obeys and the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon. This was how God spoke to me. I knew that I didn’t have to tell my parents beforehand. They would know afterwards, but the most important thing was to obey God.
And so it happened at the 6th of July 2014 and it was powerful. After repentance, I was stuck in my old life of church traditions and other things which withhold me from serving God. Through baptism I was set free. I had to choose myself to get baptized and start a new life with God. This is what I wish for everyone of you. Because I got baptized years after my repentance, I don’t know exactly when I got baptized in the Holy Spirit. I think it was just before my baptism at a Bible school, but most of the times it happens after baptism in water.
However, most important is that we repent, get baptized in water and in the Spirit. The best is if we do all these three at the same day. But, as for me, it can happen that you didn’t see what needed to be done to really start a complete new life with Jesus. Of course, if you haven’t repented from your sins, I want to encourage to start confessing your sins and turn away from your sinful life. There is no reason to keep following a path that leads to death. If you haven’t get baptized, I want to encourage you to get baptized and break with your old sinful life. If you are not (sure that you are) baptized in the Holy Spirit, make sure someone prays for you to get filled with the Holy Spirit till you start to speak in tongues, prophesy or worship God. It is so good to live a completely free life with Jesus. It is what you are created for.
God bless you,
Founder of Experience Jesus