but when they believed philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [acts 8:12]
they were baptized
i still remember pretty much everything about the day i was baptized. my baptism was a representation of the new me that had been brought to life in Christ. it was decades ago, and many people thought that i was too young to fully understand the theology of salvation.
yet i knew that I had heard the truth. something had changed inside of me, and i believed.
they believed philip
philip was preaching to a hostile audience. but this was also a believing audience thirsting for truth. these people had no shortage of beliefs already – in magicians, in false gods, and in their cultural norms. then this man of God proclaimed the very good news of a risen, reigning king who loved them and took all their sin upon himself. it was countercultural in every way.
yet they knew that they had heard the truth. something had changed inside of them, and they believed.
both men and women
it matters that this cultural phenomenon among the followers of Christ knew no boundaries. men and women were viewed as equals in Christ [galatians 3:8], and were baptized into this new kingdom where greed, hate, and power were defeated with love, forgiveness and humility.
i love baptisms at matthias lot. there is such joy and celebration in joining with brothers and sisters who publicly and symbolically lay down their life and are raised to a new birth in Christ.
let us never take this for granted! we live in a part of the world that the apostles never knew existed, and speak a language they would never hear. yet their faithful testimony, and this beautiful symbolism of being raised from death to life continues just as it did then and holds just as much meaning.
~ jason soroski