Last Sunday, I was baptized. What? Why now? you may ask... here's the story.
So, I was baptized as an infant in the Catholic Church. As a kid, I went to a Catholic Church with my family. However, I can't really say I had faith until 9th grade when I decided to give my life to Jesus. In the time since then, I have certainly grown in Christ in many ways and have been called to have my primary worship and fellowship in an Evangelical church. The Bible seems pretty clear to me that baptism is supposed to happen after we believe, which clearly mine did not. Many times since, I have thought about being baptized, but even when praying about it never thought I was being led in that direction. At each stage of my Christian life, I've confronted the issue and prayed about it a lot. I had since grown complacent of the fact that I had never been baptized, even though it is pretty clear that I should have been. In the Great Commission, Jesus told the disciples to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:20). In numerous accounts in Acts, those who believed were then baptized.
This came to point now because I wanted to become members of our church here. One of the requirements for membership is baptism after believing. So, it was this statute of the church that led me in the right direction, and then everything seemed to just make sense after that. I felt peace and joy about it, whereas I never had before. Also, our church here seems more like a spiritual home than I've ever really had with my young faith in high school and the transitional nature of college. So, these added up and I decided it was time.
Teresa was wonderfully encouraging and excited about it as well. Before my baptism and our membership, we needed to share our testimony/ies in front of the church (in Spanish) which was a hurdle but also a joy.
And then, last weekend after church, I was baptized with 6 others in the Yaque river! I felt a wonderful joy at this new, outward, public expression of my faith. While I'm certainly still somewhat on the high, I do feel that at a deeper level I have been opened to a deeper peace and freedom in Christ! "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death, for what the Law could not do, weak as it was in the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1-4). Read the rest of the chapter, it's awesome! Live in His Freedom!