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Baptism: The Meaning, The Method, The Moment
by Tom Goodman
June 12, 2013

At 61, Texas hero Sam Houston became a believer and submitted to baptism in Ricky Creek near his home in Independence.  One old companion of his wilder days winked at his dripping-wet friend and asked if he felt his sins had now been washed away.  "Yes," said Houston, adding, "and God help the fish down below!"

We're scheduling an outdoor baptism at our church-wide picnic on June 23.  Find out more here.  And let me know if you're ready to take this step of Christian obedience.

The Bible can guide you to understand the meaning, the method, and the moment of baptism.

The Meaning.  Baptism is a public expression of your faith in Jesus.  It's a powerful symbol of your union with the Lord who died and rose again to accomplish your salvation.  Just as my wedding ring reminds me of my commitment to Diane, my baptism reminds me that I belong to Jesus.

The Method.  Immersion is the form of baptism that symbolizes your union with a Lord who was buried and rose again.  That's why Paul reminded his readers that they were buried with Christ through baptism (Romans 6:4).  In fact, the English word "baptize" is our transliteration of the biblical Greek word baptizo, which means "to dip" or "to plunge."

The Moment.  Baptism is an act you choose for yourself after you've committed your life to Jesus.  If you were christened as an infant, you should thank your parents for their commitment to raise you in the faith.  But now you should publicly express that you've made that commitment for yourself.

We're encouraging parents to talk with their children and teenagers about the June 23 baptism, but adults need to consider this step, too.  We interviewed several members who were baptized at Hillcrest as adults, and they tell their stories in the video on this page.  I think you will identify with the thought process they went through to reach this decision.  If you have any questions, parents with a child or teen needing baptism should contact Karen Raulie or Steve Cloud, and adults needing baptism should contact me.  We will want to talk with anyone interested in baptism before June 23.

I look forward to this special church fellowship!


The Sam Houston story was found in an old Texas Monthly article by Jo Brans called "Every Day a Great Awakening."

Beacon Articles Available Online:  The staff newsletters that appear each week in the Beacon are also available on our website.  You can find them here.

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