Thank you, Mike, to everybody here and all those watching online. Just wanted to explain why I’m standing, with half of my body under water and why others will be doing that with me. This is, um, we believe in what is called believers. Baptism in the new Testament, talks about a sequence that was followed of people believed, and then they were baptized and then they became regularly participated, became members of the church.
But that, that sequence of believe and baptized is important because I think in Romans chapter six, where it talks about the visual of baptism, it talks about we were baptized, um, as an expression or are baptized as an expression, an outward expression of an inner reality. That we are individuals this morning that are being baptized or those that have personally embraced Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior of their lives.
And they are not becoming Christians this morning by being baptized. They are rather publicly proclaiming that they have by faith accepted Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. And that inner reality is one they’re visualizing this morning. Now they’re visualizing it by their testimony as you’ll hear in the video as each of them speaks, but they’re also testifying their action and the statement I’m going to make as I baptized them.
I’m going to make these this statement. I’m saying, I’m going to say, I baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. And then I’m going to make this statement. As I put them below the water. I’m going to say in the likeness of his death and bringing them up, I’m going to say in the likeness of his resurrection, I do that intentionally because that is what baptism is picturing.
We died to an old way of life, where we were the Lord and master. We were on the throne of our lives and we in our relationship to Christ have risen to a new way of life where Jesus is now, Lord doesn’t mean we don’t ever screw up or sin. But what it does mean is the trajectory of our life has been changed before the trajectory of our life was we were on the throne when we’ve embraced Christ as savior, we’ve died to that old trajectory, been raised to a new where Jesus Christ is the Lord and savior of our lives.
So as these eight individuals come, uh, and you’re going to hear brief testimonies of them by the video. Um, you will hear me say that likenesses depth and the likenesses resurrection just want you to know what that was all about. First person that’s going to be baptized this morning and the good news.
Um, if you’re beginning to feel, wow, there’s a lot of testimonies. There’s eight different peoples. There’s no sermon this morning. So this is stop clapping, ushers. Okay, Ryan, Anderson’s going to join me.
yeah, it is warm. It is so warm. It feels really good. Uh, Ryan, if you received Jesus Christ as your savior. Yes, I have. Okay. We’re going to hear about it. Hey, I’m Ryan and I’m here to share my baptism story with you. Um, I was born and raised in a Christian home church involvement and Sunday services were a big part of my life as a child and throughout my teen years.
Um, I grew up in a home where I had to be deathly ill or no longer on planet earth to miss Sunday service. Uh, but I’m so blessed and thankful to have grown up in a home, um, where my parents set an example for me as followers of Christ and continue to still recognize him as the center of their life and of my life.
Um, I received Jesus as my savior and Lord of my life on September 25th, 2013 at a high school retreat through my school. Um, going into that retreat, I knew who Jesus was and what he had done for me on the cross, but I never really took it to a personal level. Um, I was definitely complacent and honestly, pretty reliant on myself.
I didn’t really need God. Um, I had all that I thought I needed at the time. Um, but I don’t remember what the speaker actually said. Um, but I do remember the song that was played throughout the conference. Almost like a theme song it’s called completely done by sovereign grace music, which quotes second Corinthians five 17, which says that if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.
The oldest gone, the new is here and convicted of my pride and my sin and my shame. I gave everything to Christ. Um, I knew that I couldn’t stand before God as righteous and definitely not. Holy. I knew that I needed Jesus. So I fell on my knees during that worship song. And I didn’t say a word. I cried like a baby.
I felt the weight of who I was as a sinner. But in that very same moment, I felt the release of all my burdens. I was a freshman in high school at the time. And afterwards I spent some time hanging with a senior. Who w we were just kind of talking about what happened during that worship song. Um, and after hanging with him, I decided to verbally pray to Jesus and repeat what had happened in my heart.
Uh, several moments ago that I knew that I was a sinner and that I needed a savior as pastor Mark says a lot. I knew that my report card wasn’t good enough, but I knew that Jesus was filled with abundant grace and that he loved me all the more, and he desired my heart. He had redeemed me and I knew that he died for me and that he didn’t just die.
He Rose again from that grave, defeating death and defeating my sin. All that I had to do was received the free gift that he already gave me. Um, so I received the Lord that day, but more recently about a year ago, uh, I went through a really, really hard season of anxiety and some depression, um, back around kind of when COVID started in March, I learned how anxiety radically.
Changes you and how you view the world, um, and how it can almost feel crippling. I had a, I had a really, really hard time seeing Jesus and even relying on him. And I felt at times he wasn’t really there and that was really challenging for my faith. Um, but I continued to try to diligently read the word and spend time abiding with him, even when I felt like he wasn’t there.
I knew that he was the only option that I had when anxiety was at its height, its highest moments. Um, sometimes it was really challenging and I was waiting for those life-changing moments where you read a verse and all of your thoughts and problems vanish in thin air. Um, but I can definitely say that I didn’t really experience that in most moments, but what I did find was just the consistency and going back to his word, spending time with him in prayer, meditating on, on certain verses and phrases that he says.
Um, one thing that really stuck with me and that my mom told me one night is Philippians four, six and seven, which says don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And after a couple of crazy life altering months, my fiance and I lead junior high youth group alongside of Mike and Jared, where I am now pursuing a career in ministry. So why do I want to get baptized? I feel like I should have been baptized a while ago, but baptism is an outward symbol of an inward reality in my heart.
And I want to share that with you all today, that Jesus Christ is my joy and my strength, my delight. And most importantly, he is my savior.
Brian is your desire to publicly proclaim a relationship to Christ by being baptized? Yes,
Brian, it’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father and the son and the Holy spirit and the likeness of his death.
Jill buck is going to join us.
Jill, have you received Jesus as your savior? Yes, I have. All right, we’re going to hear it back. Okay. Hi, I’m Jillian buck and I’m a firm believer in Jesus Christ. And I’m here today to give my testimony when I was 16. Um, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. Shortly after that, um, at the age of 16, I encountered a very rare medical condition and it has still in my life today.
It’s still there and it has been a very difficult, um, 23 years of that at the age of 21, when I married my husband, I was a static, things were very good in the beginning. And at the age of 24, I gave birth to our first child Gabriela. And after she was born, she suffered, uh, some medical issues where she was hospitalized for a while.
And my husband and I were very scared. We were scared that we were going to lose her and it was very fearful. But shortly after too, she had came home. Um, symptoms of my medical condition started to come back and I was starting to suffer a very, very greatly. And, um, I started to have a lot of pain and it was a very difficult time for me after a while my marriage started to sh to really struggle at that point.
But also in that timeframe, I was very distant from God. Um, I stopped praying. I attended church, but physically was here, but mentally was not, um, my hopes that my marriage would be better. It did not happen. There were many nights that I cried and many days that I just try to talk myself out of this and try it and want to get better.
And I just couldn’t. And in April of 2018, I mean, I was driving my car and I came across this radio station called Caleb. And I’m just listening to these words of this music. I just started crying. And I just said, I can’t seem to turn off this radio station and listen to these people that God has came into their lives and has changed so many things.
And I knew about celebrate recovery. I don’t know, church, and I often wanted to go, but felt like I never had the time to do that. And one Thursday I decided I’m going to go. And they were so. Heart whelming. And they were there for me and they were listening to me and I just had this major breakthrough that I said, yes, I, I, you know, I want God back in my life.
I want to pray again. I want to believe that, you know, he’s there for me and that I’m a child of God and yes, I want this to happen. And shortly after time, I discovered that my husband was having an affair and my whole world spiral out of control. My worst fear was happening and. I had to, I had to have some time with God and say, you know, why is this happening?
Like I’m doing everything you’re telling me to do is save my marriage. And I now in this whole again, and I don’t know where to go from here. And he just basically told me to stay still, just cast it to God. And he’s going to be in control. I am not in control of this. He is going to be in control of this.
And I often thought that you had to get five ties when you know, your life was perfect and everything was perfect, but I know that’s not the case and whatever happens. I know that I’m so glad that God has came back into my life. And I just wanted to share a verse with you. It’s Deuteronomy 31, six that says be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified because of them for the Lord.
Your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And I chose this first because I don’t want to live in fear and I don’t want to be afraid of whatever the outcome is. And I also feel that you need to just cast and I need to cast everything to God and leave it in his hands because he’s in control.
And I want to thank you for letting me share my testimony today.
Jillian. Is it your desire to testify of your relations? Yes,
Jillian, it’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit in the likeness of his death.
next is a couple by are coming. Uh, Marco’s going to come first. And then Maria
Marco, have you received Jesus Christ as his savior? Yes, I have.
My name is Marco. Uh, I’m uh, from South America, especially from Chile, uh, glad to be here. And I share my story with you. So I’ve been a Christian since I have a 10 years old because of my parents and I was baptized when I was 12. Um, I feel like a lot of things have happened already in between. And, uh, I have the need on, um, being bow ties.
Now, the I I’m an old guy. I mean, my tour guy, for me, baptize, it’s, uh, a way to show my love to God, my surrender, and to live the old man that I was to start this new life with him. Even if I’ve been Christian for so long, this is a moment that I want to say to the world publicly that, uh, I’m not afraid to move on on God.
I’m not afraid to be Christian. Uh, I’m not afraid to share my, my experiences, uh, and to give my life to God. And, uh, because of that, I also want my family to be involved. Thank you.
Marco is a young man. It’s a delight for me to be able to baptize an old guy today. Is it your desire to be baptized? Yes, absolutely. All right, Marco, it’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. In the likeness of his death.
Maria. Have you received Jesus as your savior? Okay. We’re going to hear her testimony now. Hi, my name is Maria and I’m from T okay.
Maria. Do you desire today to testify to Jesus by being baptized?
It’s my privilege to baptize you Maria, in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit in the likeness of his death.
So, and Brian is going to join me.
So, and have you received Jesus Christ as your savior? Yes, I absolutely have. All right, we’re going to hear about it absolutely morning. My name is Sue Ann, Brian, my faith walk and becoming closer to Christ has been a gradual one since my early childhood life as a child was not easy. My father was an alcoholic.
So as you can imagine, it was difficult in our life, in our family. And there was turmoil created in our family. Fortunately, I had a mother who was a Christian woman and she said examples for me as to what it was like to depend upon the Lord in all times, even when things appear to be hopeless, she taught me that if you give God.
His time first, every day, he will give you the time you need for all other things, because of the situation with my father and some other things that were going on within our family. At that time, I had to take one, a lot of the adult responsibilities within the family. I loved going to church as a child.
I found that it was fun. It was a safe place to be, and it was a calm place for me. And I love being part of the church activities. When I was in seventh grade, I was part of the junior high youth group. And I decided to share my home situation with the youth pastor. He gave me a verse from Matthew 11, 28 and 29.
And it’s one, that’s probably very familiar to all of you come to me who are weary and burdened, and I will give you peace. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For, I am gentle and humble at heart, and I will give your soul rest. That is a verse that I memorized at that early age and have held onto and leaned upon for all of my life, for all of my different decisions.
And it’s interesting that that verse has helped me through all kinds of decisions, whether it be a difficult time in my life, whether it be a job or career decision that I needed to make, whether it be during a time when everything in life just seemed to be going too well, better than could possibly be true.
Or when my sinful nature took over a situation, and I know I needed to make a change. These verses have reminded me that Jesus takes the weight of my life upon himself, and that I need to give that control to the Lord. Oftentimes I want to control the situation, but I have found that when I give the control over to him, He will answer those prayers and do it in a way that oftentimes I don’t expect in my early twenties, I believe that I came to understand the true meaning of being born again in Christ.
I was baptized as a baby, but believe that adult baptism is important for me to be able to profess my face publicly, to share my belief with others and to share in the life of Jesus. I was a sinner. I am a sinner and I will always be a sinner, but I know that through God’s grace, I can change those sinful ways.
God’s grace and unconditional love and forgiveness have been something that I have leaned on throughout my life. I believe that God’s hand has orchestrated every moment of my life. He has shown me his purposes and explained to me. How I can continue on my faith journey and how I can get to know Christ better.
God has answered prayers over and over again. For me throughout my life, he has directed my life. His answers are usually very different from what I expect or what I want, but his answers are always the correct ones. I have learned to listen to him and rely on him for those answers when I’m tested. And I know that I praise the Lord and give him Thanksgiving that Christ is there living in my heart in order to help me.
In those times of temptation, there is a praise song that is very important to me, and it says there is great power in the name of Jesus. Amen.
So Anna is you desire today to publicly testify of that relationship to Christ by being baptized? Yes. Okay.
So, and it’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit in the likeness of his death.
the other half of the marriage is Greg. Greg is going to join me now.
Well, this is, yeah, this is a home run, man. This is great. Yeah, we did right by it today. Good thing. I don’t know if this really even counts as a baptism when it’s this comfortable. Maybe we’ll see you again next week, right? That’s fine. Make sure the heaters. No, that’s the idea, Greg, have you received Jesus as your savior?
Yes, I have. Okay. We’re going to hear about it. Good morning. My name is Greg Brian, and I’m here to give a testimony to you about being baptized in the church. As a youngster growing up, I was always aware of Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, and my parents would always give us a, uh, you know, a reason to do so.
I have had a chance to. No, that it’s something in my heart and in my soul and my mind is what I should be giving to him. Uh, when you a young, uh, and you have heard it all, or you think you have, but then not have not experienced certain situations, um, that how can you apply some of these teachings that you’ve heard as a little kid?
Uh, one day you have an encounter and in that encounter a little voice inside your head says, Hmm, how can I go through this situation? You make attempts or situations, and many times they succeed or they fail. Uh, the learning curve is like a rollercoaster of life. Um, they has its ups and downs. Uh, seeds are planted, you know, in what, into us, but it’s for us to follow Christ and little by little, I began to make those attempts to follow Christ.
As I began reading the scriptures, um, I found a necessity by surrounding myself with many other Christians. Um, and in order to. To waylay, any fears I may have had and learn from them. And I want to thank you community groups for helping with that as stated in first, Peter three 15, 16, um, Revere Christ as your Lord and savior and become a firm believer in Jesus Christ.
As I have grown up into, um, adulthood, I see how the power of the Lord has come into my life. Many times. My problem for so long, um, was to, um, know that that he was with me and never doubt him. But listen to that little voice inside your head, that’s going to give that answer to what you should be doing. I had things that were sneaking into my, into my mind.
Um, I found out that when I was in 26 years old, I had a terrible. Nervous disease, a mirror of disease that attacked my nervous system. And I just started teaching school for two years and I couldn’t understand what was this. I was falling apart right in front of my students and wasn’t doing well at all.
And this was, this was bothering me. I blamed myself for not being with God all my life. I blamed myself for not following his word and doing things that I shouldn’t be doing. I became upset about this, but it wasn’t God’s fault. You know, God gives you trials and tribulations. And this was a trial for me, an older gentlemen of friend of mine who told me at one time, some words he says, don’t, don’t be dissolved.
Don’t be despaired in about what says, look at, look at the Psalm 55, 22, very plain, very simple, give everything to the Lord and rejoice that he will take care of everything. And he will do all for you. My prayer therefore is to thank Jesus. You know, for being there for me, allowing me this time that I could be in front of my congregation, um, to be baptized as an adult baptism solidifies that I am a follower of Christ and all the things that I do I do for his namesake.
Um, Jesus is my Lord and savior. I profess that to anybody. I have found also that I am thankful that Jesus has heightened my senses, um, that he has supported my life. Um, and I am Slack suggested that my church, family and my wife have been behind me and strong with me and have gone through all kinds of trials and tribulations.
As I said, a little while ago, Jesus has heightened my senses. You know, he has given me the sight to see, uh, what creation see he has made for me to be all in all of what those are. He has given me the sound. So I can listen to the word and hopefully, maybe give that word other people. Uh, he’s given me the, the scent of, of, um, what he has produced for us in the world and on land and sea and air.
And he’s giving me the touch and the taste, the taste of, of what is good and the touch of him being in our back. And to know that Jesus Christ was always our savior and Lord. Um, I am so thankful that I am going to be baptized, um, with, with my church. You’re there with me in my heart and my mind and my soul.
Right. Um, and we profess that the truth be told that Jesus Christ is our Lord and savior. And knowing how blessed I am is where my strength comes from.
Greg. Do you want to testify to Christ by being baptized today? Yes, I do. Okay.
Greg, it’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit in the likeness of his death.
you may have noticed in the first out in laughter. The reason is when Greg came up and he looked at me and he said, did I come up?
Emily Krebs is going to join me now.
Emily. Have you received Jesus as your savior? Yes, I have. Okay. I’m gonna hear about it and look right there. Okay. Hi, I’m Emily Krebs and I’ve been attending FCC since 2016. I was raised in a Christian home and Christian school, but like so many others. I was baptized as an infant around the age of three, my family moved.
And while they were trying to find a church that they were familiar with, they bumped into a Bible church and it was at this church that pretty, our family changed forever and they realized that it wasn’t by baptism that we are saved, but by the grace of God and. Um, believing that he died on the cross for our sin.
So we could have eternal life around the age of five. I accepted Christ as my savior. And while that seems young, I, it was a, I knew that it was the knowledge that Christ lived inside me and it started in Sunday school and continued. I just continued to mature. And at the time though, of course, the church wanted you to be a little bit older before you made that decision on your own.
And so by the time I was able to make that decision, I also became aware that I’m not a huge fan of speaking in front of people and large groups of people. And so I kept putting it off and knowing that it’s not by baptism, that we’re saved, it does not define or that if we are or are not a Christian, I just put it off.
And I have a daughter that I want to lead by example, and are probably over a decade. It’s been on my heart and I just. Just couldn’t do it. And now I, I feel the Lord is just tapping on my shoulder saying it’s time. It’s time to put your fear behind you and step out and surrender to me. And in acts two 38, Peter says to them, 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 today. I’m getting baptized as an active obedience to proclaim that, that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ in front of my church and my family.
that your desire to be baptized to profess your relationship to Christ
Emily. It’s my joy to baptize you in the name of the father and the son and the Holy spirit. In the likeness of his death.
I just want to say something before our last candidate this morning, um, you may be here and the wonderful part of baptisms, as you’re, as you’re sitting out there is, they’re all different stories. I mean, all different stories. This is how God works. I mean, we’re hearing their story, but it’s really the Lord’s story in people’s lives.
Maybe you’re identifying with someone’s story and saying, I’d like to know Christ. I I’d like to have that relationship where, where Jesus is real and the Lord and savior of my life, or maybe you’re out there. And you’re saying, you know, that’s me, I’ve waited all these years. I know I should. Publicly identify with the Lord through baptism and just haven’t done it.
Maybe God will use the testimony of these folks this morning to speak to some of you. However, he speaks to you. If you would like to talk to myself or one of our other pastors, we would be happy to do that, um, about how you can personally have a relationship with Christ. Uh, if you want to learn more about being baptized, we’d be glad to talk to you about that as well.
Our last candidate, um, we have a new pastor on our church. He started in January. He’s our youngest pastor, our newest pastor, our craziest pastor, um, uh, Jared hacking and Jared is going to perform the last baptism because he is baptizing his wife, JC
JC, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?
Hi, my name is JC and I’m going to share a little bit of my story with you. I was raised in a Christian home with two loving parents and an older sister in Fort Myers, Florida, and I accepted Christ when I was four years old. I remember coming home from preschool one day after learning what it meant to accept Jesus in your heart.
And I told my mom that was something that I wanted and we prayed and read a book. And from that day on, I considered myself a Christian. Um, it really wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I found myself crying out to God. I had recently realized that I’ve failed the standardized tests going into my junior year.
And I was very embarrassed and I felt kind of ashamed. And I was really confused about what was going on. So I had to take an intensive reading course and retake the test over again. And then it was time to start applying for colleges. And I had to take the act and quickly realized that that was going to be a similar struggle.
So my parents decided that we should reach out to tutors to see what we could do. And the tutors actually turned us away and said that I needed to get tested for a learning disability. So I was very confused. I remember asking like, God, why is this happening to me right now? You know, all of my friends were talking about what colleges they wanted to go to.
And I was beginning to realize that might not be a reality for me. And. I got the test done and found out that I did have two learning disabilities and anxiety that were really hindering my ability to perform well on these exams. And, um, we applied for extended time and I was able to get that. And then I did end up passing the test and applying for colleges.
And in that time I was finally able to, um, think about what was going on. You know, it’s a lot to find out about yourself at the age of 17. And I really was thinking, you know, why, how is this in God’s plan? What is the purpose of all of this? And I realized that I had found that my identity wasn’t in the scores that I kept perceiving that were really low or the exec, the acceptances that I was going to receive, but that my identity was always going to be rooted in Christ.
And that was a huge. Realization after all of that. So I went into college, very anxious to fail and nervous about school. It was not my favorite thing in the world, but I pursued it and was eager to see what would happen. I decided to go away for a summer serving on mission trips and pursued a couple of internships with my church.
A lot of the people that I was near, they were nonbelievers, but I took it as a missions opportunity and continued on. And then, um, the summer of 2019, I was reunited with a fun loving Christian man that is a familiar face to most of you. And, um, we quickly began pursuing a God-centered relationship after that week.
We spent together. And honestly, he was the breath of fresh air that I needed and the huge answered prayer. Um, I wasn’t really surrounded by a lot of people my age, who understood my faith in Christ. And we were very much on the same page and it was such a blessing. So, um, after we started dating, I was coming to the end of my senior year of college and realizing I’m not really sure what I want to do, but I think I definitely want to be closer to Jared.
So I kept praying, you know, God, if I can find a job that I would honor you in, in New Jersey, please just make that clear to me. And a lot of doors were open very quickly. I had an interview and a job offer and a place to live all in the same day and it was such a blessing. So. In the middle of COVID. I moved to New Jersey and now I’m married to that man.
And it is such a blessing to be able to serve alongside of him and his ministry here at FCC. So I knew, um, God would always work this plan out for me. And I really realized that I had to let go of my own. So, um, I’m very excited to be getting baptized today. I was baptized as an infant, but this is the first time I’ve able, I’ve been able to, um, make that declaration for myself.
Thank you so much for welcoming me here at FCC. Um, it’s been a little under a year, but it’s already feeling like home and I’m really excited to be taking this step in my faith with all of you by my side.
JC, is it your desire to be baptized this morning? Yes. Yes. I’m incredibly proud of you. And it is my joy to baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit and likeness of his death, his resurrection