Why I Decided to Get Re-Baptized!
I remember being in the 8th grade and deciding to get baptized. I was so happy that afterward when my French teacher asked us what we did over the past weekend, I piped up to let everyone know that I had gone underwater and arose a citizen of the Kingdom of God! It was a feeling I would never forget, nor that I would ever question… until recently.
After graduating from college, I decided to go searching for a new church home. I wanted to find a community that I connected with and would truly teach me using the Word. By this time, I had become used to watching online sermons and hearing messages in more depth than I had before, so I desired a church where I could continue to learn and experience God's Word.
ASK and we shall RECEIVE. Matthew 7:7.
I found myself in a new member’s class at a non-denominational church in my hometown. The purpose of the class was to teach the basics of the beliefs of Christianity. Having grown up in the church, I admit that I was a little bored at first. I didn't expect to hear anything unfamiliar since I wasn't new to the faith.
This is a basics class? I could probably fall asleep in here!, I'd think to myself.
But then something woke me up. My new church was adamant about teaching that baptism was to be done in a specific way: “In the name of Jesus”. Personally, when I was baptized at 14, it was done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and I had never heard of anything different. However, as I was sitting in the class with my Bible turned to Matthew 28, this opened up a debate in my mind.
Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)
In Matthew 28, Jesus said to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, if that’s the case, what’s the big deal with baptizing in ONLY Jesus’ name? They are interchangeable right? Either way, it is to the glory of God… right?
Let me tell you how this went for me. As soon as I was exposed to that, I was hot-headed. Thinking that I was being taught that my first baptism was rendered obsolete, I felt offended. The law school student in me spent a good amount of time challenging what I had just been told. When my mind is made up, it won’t change until you convince me otherwise, and I made my mind up that day, that getting rebaptized for that reason alone was NOT going to happen. But of course, there was someone much better at arguing than me, and that was the Holy Spirit.
As I have grown closer to the Lord, I have realized that one way He speaks to me is by bringing things to my remembrance at the appointed time. Over the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit kept bringing this lesson on baptism to my mind. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not let it go. So, I knew that God was wanted me to reconsider. I was confident that going in the water to get rebaptized was unnecessary, yet the Holy Spirit began to challenge me.
When God is trying to get your attention, a safe place to go is to His Word. During that time, I began to meditate on the scriptures about baptism. Matthew 28 says to baptize "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit". Taking it one word at a time, the Holy Spirit showed me that the word “name” was placed there for a very specific reason. From the simplicity of the phrase, Jesus directs us to baptize in the name that sums up those three titles. How often do we consider that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are indeed titles?
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.” This was my anchor scripture for my argument. If my heart was in the right place the first time I got baptized, then why should I consider rebaptism? God already knows that I love Him! I fought with this many times until I finally had to consider… Am I honoring God now with this argument or am I catering to my pride? Sure enough, my heart was in the right place when I was 14, but if my heart is in the right place now, should I have a problem with being rebaptized?
For many reasons, I thought of how I could excuse this as a diminutive issue. There are many people I know that are followers of Christ who speak in tongues, which is the evidence of the Holy Spirit, and they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If they got away with it, then why can't I? Why would Jesus phrase it like that? Surely, He knew that people would get baptized using the titles, so is it really that big of a deal?
As I said before, the Holy Spirit is much better at arguing than I am. As I continued to muse on this, God continued to apprise me of its significance. Then He dropped in my spirit something that changed my way of thinking: There's a difference between realizing and having a revelation. You can realize what the Scriptures say, but until you allow the Holy Spirit to give you the revelation on its importance, it won't have the same effect. The Holy Spirit was attempting to give me the revelation on the scriptures and was calling me to get rebaptized out of obedience.
When God places something on your heart, the opinion of other believers no longer matter. It's between you and the Lord. It was as if He was saying to me, "Shayla, I've given you the revelation on why you must get rebaptized. It doesn't matter what someone else has done, that's for Me to bring to their attention. So, what are you going to do?" When God showed me that this was an act of obedience to His Word and to Him, I was no longer ambivalent. I had to make a decision... and I did!
THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
Acts 4:12 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
And there it is. Jesus’ name carries power and authority! When we are baptized, it is to signify that we accept Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross into our lives. Colossians 3:17 tells us to do everything in the name of Jesus. Baptism should be done using the authority that He gifted to us!
Being exposed to something new in God’s Word may not always breed excitement at first sight. However, we should never stop looking, because Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by seeing and seeing through His Word. This may not be the last time that my pride tries to stand in the way of a blessing that God has for me, but hopefully, I will continue to say that I chose God’s Word instead of my own insight.
His Word says to lean not on our own understanding, but to acknowledge Him in all our ways and He would direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6. Since I've been baptized in Jesus' name, I can honestly say that my spirit has been at peace with my decision and I rest with the confidence of knowing that I heard from God and chose to respond doing His Will. I pray when God is knocking on the door of your heart to do His Will, you will do the same!
Link to Youtube video: