Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the Name of the Lord.
If you live in America, consider our Pledge of Allegiance: 'I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
If you're a Christian, consider a bigger pledge: 'I plunge in allegiance to God by the Baptism of Repentance, and to His Son, Jesus, by Whom we stand as new creations: one people, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
I'm talking full-immersion baptism: a public plunge of allegiance. Because soldiers are never half-in. They don't do a sprinkle of this or a drop of that. Top-to-bottom, they're in it to win it: a whole-hearted support for the nation they serve.
Among new army recruits, consider two immediate must-do's: a hair cut and a uniform, physical manifestations of their transformation into soldiers. By them, the world knows their identity and they know each other.
Similarly, baptism for mature believers is a public profession of submission to God, and faith in His Son. Do I believe you must be baptized to go to Heaven? No.* But is it a good idea? Yes. If the Son of God thought He needed to be baptized, who am I to think I don't?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you have not been baptized as a mature believer, consider it. My grandson, Jack, asked repeatedly to be baptized. (He's 5.) Adam (his dad and my son-in-law) kept saying, 'Wait.' Finally, Adam asked Jack, 'Why?' Jack replied: 'Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' **
That did it. They went to the bathtub, and Jack got baptized. I wasn't there, but I saw the video. Jack came up with joy! Truthfully, I believe God's Spirit is in Jack, and I see a change in his overall behavior.
Do I hope he will get baptized when he's older? Yes, one day, when Jack is ready to be a soldier for Jesus, I hope he'll take the plunge of allegiance... again.
To Be Continued...
* Short Article: Christian Baptism: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-baptism.html
* Short Article: Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation: http://www.gotquestions.org/baptism-salvation.html
** Romans 3:23
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.