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Baptism is Pure Joy

Blog: Baptism

By Danny Braga, and Paul Dean

Baptism is pure joy, especially in the cold waters typical in the Puget Sound in the Seattle region. Some people wade in slowly, some slosh along in a stumbling run. Through trembling lips or expectant shouts, they each affirm that they want to live for Jesus and they are submerged in the cold water that takes their breath away for a moment. With their invigorated senses alert, they are raised up to hear the cheers of their family as they return to shore as a living testimony to the power of God and the glory of Jesus.

Four Acts 29 churches: Taproot, Emmaus Road, Redemption, and Alathia, shared a sermon series, and finished with a baptism on the shores of Puget Sound on the last Sunday of August. Those baptized ranged from an elementary school girl who wanted “everyone to know she loved Jesus,” to a couple who wanted to be baptized together. Pictured above is Derek.

Derek’s story is a blaring proclamation of the power of Jesus Christ through the gospel.  As an unbeliever and very skeptical of the church, his heart was hard.  He'd been watching the church closely through one of his buddies who had recently come to Taproot (Acts 29 Burien) and submitted to Christ. His friend transformed from being a lying, cheating husband to loving his wife and talking about Jesus daily.  

At the same time, Derek's own world of relational hurt was breaking him down. Tired of medicating his emotions with pot and curious about his friend's obvious life transformation, he agreed to visit our Sunday gathering. That was it. The Lord softened Derek's rebellious heart and saved him by faith! He embraced his new Christian community and they received him wholeheartedly into the family.

Derek jumped into every aspect of our church life possible and began growing exponentially. His Gospel community convinced him that baptism was an obedient response to the Gospel and he became like a little kid on the road trip to Disneyland!  Every Sunday he'd come up and smother me in a hug while booming, "Pastor Danny I'm ready! Let's do this!" I'd respond, "Hold on Derek, patience man! We'll dunk ya’ in August with everyone else!" So, he waited and I don't think I've ever seen a guy come out of the water appearing more victorious than this precious brother.

Derek is now involved at the most foundational levels of our theological/pastoral training. With his intimidating size and baritone voice, I liken him to a Mack Truck of Jesus-exalting mission.  

Derek’s passion is unstoppable and his joy uninhibited. His smile is a sermon in itself on the love, forgiveness, and infinite glory of our gracious King.

Praise Jesus.