Jesus Contract—I Agreed to the Baptism Clause

GodReflection: My Contract with Jesus Reviewed

gary portrait4I grew up in a church that held in high esteem The Acts of The Apostles. It was the Bible book that served as the foundation of our Sunday School curriculum once we outgrew flannel graph.

My church preached from it on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night and in fall and spring evangelistic meetings. (Yes, I have greatly exaggerated my church experience with Acts, but there was no doubt Luke’s Acts of the Apostles was our book.)

As a child even though I didn’t understand all that transpired in the waters of baptism I baptism1had witnessed baptism scores of times.

Then at the age of eleven Jesus light flooded my young reality. I saw the need to place my trust and faith in him. I understood that repentance came with my contract so I declare my new understanding with my signature on the Repent line. I knew what I had to do next.

baptism12It was almost by osmosis. Even at eleven years of age I had heard the conversion stories of Luke’s Acts multiple times. In every text, the main character—or characters—who committed to follow Jesus immediately entered baptismal waters.

In my last post I attempted to recall my week of decision as an eleven-year-old. I wrestled with my new awareness of sin for an entire week. I didn’t talk with anyone about it nor did I share what I planned to do. But come next Sunday I would resolve my discomfort.

I attended Bible class first. I was fully aware of my next step when we assembled for congregational worship. I remember nothing of the song service, nor the prayers.  I have no memory from the communion service or the slightest thing about the sermon.

baptism15What I remember is the song led after the sermon. In our church tribe we were all familiar with The Invitation Song.

That was the time when Christians who had moved into the community could make it known they wanted to be members of our church family.

It was the time when folks who hadn’t been doing well on the Jesus path could come in front of the church and ask for prayers and seek encouragement.

baptism7We all knew the invitation song was the prime time to declare one’s desire to be immersed in the waters of baptism.

So as the song began and reached its refrain—I am sure to my parents and siblings surprise—I step into the aisle and moved to the first church pew to make my desire known.

Jesus is calling, calling, calling, Jesus is calling today;
Why should I linger, linger, linger, I will arise and away.

They are so happy, happy, happy, who do their Savior obey; Why should I linger, linger, linger? I will arise and away.

As I filled out my intent card and visited with the preacher the song continued all around me.

Jesus is pleading, pleading, pleading, why should I wander in sin; While to His glory, glory, glory, Glad He would welcome me in.

Angels are watching, watching, watching, hoping that I will obey; baptism2I will accept Him, love Him, serve Him, Jesus, I’m coming today.

Jesus is waiting, waiting, waiting, Open now standeth the door; Soon the night falleth, falleth, falleth, closed are the gates evermore.

They are so happy, happy, happy, who do their Savior obey; Why should I linger, linger, linger? I will arise and away.

All these years later to think about my signature on the Baptism line brings a sense of peace, joy, confidence and gratitude. A reread of my old contract brings renewed assurance for my daily faith walk.

Jesus signature and my signature are still vital to the contract. He signs as guarantor. To receive access to his promises I signed the line that affirmed my desire TO BE BURIED baptism6AND RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH THE WATERS OF BAPTISM. That is what I needed to cleanse me of sin.

Jesus signature is strong. The red blood from his quill remains bold and clear. It is easy to read—Jesus The Christ Son of God (risen from the grave). His grace filled signature covers all my sin. It covers every misstep whether intentional of not. He reads my heart not the list of my mistakes.

Won’t you join me and reread your contract? Is your signature still strong?

I would love to hear your baptismal story. If you haven’t made that commitment you can rest assured that Jesus is still calling, pleading, watching, and waiting.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection: Jesus Contract—I Agreed to the Baptism Clause



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