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Lesson verse: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Why in the world do people get dunked under water, in church? It's a ceremonial thing, like blowing out candles on your birthday cake. When you blow out the candles, you don't get a year older, but that shows all the other kids that your birthday is finally here. (By the way, there will be enough candles on my birthday cake this year to have a weenie roast.) Baptism is something that God had this guy by the name of John do. People that had asked God to forgive them of their sins could have a ceremony where they washed, like their sins were being washed away. The water didn't really wash away the sins, God did. Being baptized (the ceremony of washing) was so important that Jesus was baptized by John. John argued with Jesus because he knew Jesus was the Lamb of God and no one was good enough to baptize him. Jesus convinced him though and it was really cool. Read about it in Matthew 3:13-17.
If Jesus forgives my sin when I ask him to, why should I be baptized? Because the Bible tells you to. Jesus didn't need to be baptized either, he was sinless. The Bible doesn't talk about it much, but even he and his disciples baptized people while Jesus was on earth. Jesus likes ceremonies. He washed his disciples feet the night before he died, to show servanthood. He told us to remember him in communion. And we were told to be baptized. In our scripture for this lesson it tells us to repent of our sins and be baptized. This was written after Jesus had risen from the grave and ascended into heaven. It was even written after the apostles had been filled with the Holy Spirit. So everyone that has asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins should be baptized.
A little about what happens when you are baptized. Some churches just sprinkle a little water on your head, some dunk you under water. I'm not going to argue about which one is right. It's a ceremony of washing ordained by God. Some kids are scared they will get hurt when being baptized. I can understand. You weigh 70 pounds and some 250 pound preacher is going to hold you under water, that's scary! You shouldn't worry, I have seen a lot of people baptized, and never seen anyone hurt. In fact, the smaller you are the best chance you have of everything going OK. If you are interested in being baptized, pray about it, and then talk to your pastor. When he believes that you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, he will probably allow you to be baptized.
Thank you for loving me and forgiving me from my sins. Help me to understand baptism. Give me guidance in the decision to be baptized and help the pastor understand that I am serious about being baptized.
Story posted February 28, 2001
The Barnstinks Baptize Joey
This story includes Buford and Bubba Barnstink, Joey, and Katie
Joey and Katie were walking home from school. It was a beautiful Monday afternoon. The sun was finally warming up the earth, making it seem like spring was pushing winter away. Joey wasn't in church Sunday and was asking Katie what had happened.
"You missed it, Joey. MrGene taught us about baptism, and afterward we had a baptism service."
"What's a baptism service?" asked Joey.
"That's where people that have asked Jesus into their hearts are baptized."
Joey was still confused. He asked Katie, "But what is baptism?"
"Oh. That is where the preacher holds a persons nose and dunks them under water. It sort of washes away the sin," Katie told Joey.
Joey asked, "I thought that when I asked Jesus into my heart the sin was washed away, why do you have to get dunked into water?"
"Well, Joey, it doesn't really wash away the sin. It is showing the other people around that you have been forgiven."
"But Katie, if people see me acting like a Christian, they'll know I'm forgiven."
"That's true, Joey, but the Bible tells us that we're supposed to be baptized, too."
Joey said, "I think I need to go see MrGene and ask him about this. I'll see you later Katie."
Joey ran toward the church to see if he could find MrGene. When he arrived, he saw an old pick up truck in the parking lot. The front door to the church was unlocked, so he went on in. He found the Barnstink Brothers (Buford and Bubba) working in the sanctuary.
"Hay there young 'un!" shouted Bubba.
"Hay there Joey!" yelled Buford.
"Hello Mr. Barnstink. Have you seen MrGene?"
"Not fer quite some time there little man." said Buford. "Whatcha need MrGene fer anyway?"
"Well, Mr. Barnstink, I hate to bother you with it. I see you are busy. I was just talking with Katie and she was telling me that I missed the baptism service yesterday."
"OOOOOHHHHH man. You missed a good service." said Bubba.
"You sure did, Joey. Me and my brother saw the whole thing. We even helped MrGene in the service. And we is a helpin' now, too." Replied Buford.
Bubba jumped back in. "That's right. The baptism place here has a leak. We are a fixin' it."
Joey asked, "Is that expensive?"
Bubba answered, "It might be, but we only charge $49.95."
"That's right," said Buford, "that's all we ever charge."
"That's interesting Mr. Barnstink. But I need to find MrGene. I need to find out if it's true that the Bible says we are supposed to be baptized."
"You're dad gum right it's true!" said Bubba.
"That's right there brother. Acts 2:38 tells us that we're supposed to repent and be baptized." said Buford.
"Well I guess I missed it." said Joey. "Who knows how long it will be before we have another baptism service."
"That's true little man. But wait a minute, the baptism tub is filled up, 'cause we were a checkin' fer leaks." said Bubba.
"That's right, brother. And we know how to do the service, and we're Christian men. That might hold you over till the church has another service. Whata ya say there Joey?"
"Do the two of you know how to do it?" asked Joey.
"Sure," answered Bubba, " we just hold you by the ankles and drop ya in the water!"
"What!?!" asked Joey.
Buford jumped in. "He's justa kiddin' ya Joey. We know how to do it."
"Then I'm ready!" said Joey.
And Buford and Bubba Barnstink baptized Joey in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. A few months later, Joey was baptized in a normal service, so that the whole church could see that he had given Christ his heart.
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