The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. Acts 16:29-34

It took me a long time to understand the need to be baptized. If baptism in and of itself didn’t save you- just demonstrated a decision you already made- did it matter? It seemed like an “extra credit” thing that the overachieving youth group kids did. And I was not an overachieving youth group kid. It wasn’t until years later- and hearing a more robust explanation of baptism than I had before- that I realized its importance. While it’s true that the act of baptism doesn’t save, Jesus changes everything and he has changed me. Why not acknowledge and declare, to myself and others, all that he has done and that in him I am a new creation?

Over and over in the book of Acts, those who believe the good news about Jesus are often immediately baptized in the name of Jesus. We see it here, with the Philippian jailer and his family (v. 33), as well as the stories of Lydia (Acts 16:15), Philip and the Eunuch (Acts 8:38) and Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:48), as well as many others. Belief and acceptance of good news is followed by joyful action.

If you have already been baptized, spend some time today thinking about that day, why you were baptized, and the joy and celebration of that day. If you have not been baptized but consider yourself a follower of Jesus maybe it’s time to consider taking that step. If you are interested in baptism- even if it’s just in finding out more about it- you can let us know here.

By Jessica Rust

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