It is always exciting to hear the testimonies of people who have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. I never tire of this as my heart rejoices in knowing that people, both young and old, come into a relationship with the Heavenly Father I know so well. What an amazing God we have! Even as we take a long hard journey through the book of Judges we see His mercy, forgiveness, compassion and love to a people who, quite frankly, do not deserve it! Yet, as I consider who God is and who I am, I realize that most of us are no different to the Israelites we read about with disdain in Judges. Paul’s timely reminder from Romans 5: 8 is ever so meaningful to me, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. I realize (with some embarrassment) that while I was in the depths of sin Christ gave His life for me – the ‘righteous’ for the ‘unrighteous’ (me)! Staggering!
Today, we witness three young people and a mature woman testify to the goodness of the Lord Jesus. Their lives have been so impacted by Him that they are prepared to stand before family, friends and strangers to testify their allegiance to Him! Why would they do this? Why be pushed under water publically? It is quite simple really … they realize just who they are when they stand face to face with a holy and righteous God! They realize what awaits them when time is no more! So they listened to God’s amazing rescue plan. This plan centers on His Son Jesus! They did something about this plan! They not only heard about the rescue plan, but they put their hand up and accepted this plan. They acknowledged their sin and the need for forgiveness. They confessed their sin! They took the hand of this Saviour and decided to walk with Him and make Him Lord of their life! They decided to be just like Jesus and follow Him into the waters of baptism!
Today, we consider one of the early accounts of how a man and his family found the need to also grab hold of the hand of the Saviour Jesus. It occurs in the most unlikely of places – a jail compound! It is amazing! It is wonderful! This man asked the question – what must I do to be saved? He received the answer – believe in the Lord Jesus! He said ‘yes’! He was subsequently baptized that same night – he and his household! Believing in Jesus and salvation go hand in hand with baptism. Do you realize your predicament in standing before a holy God? Have you called on the name of Jesus for forgiveness? Have you grabbed hold of His hand as He reaches down to save you? Have you been baptized just like Jesus? This is something for all of us to consider this morning!