Changed by Jesus #37
@bjoelbrown: God crushed my pride and I spontaneously decided to be baptized today for the first time as a believer. Yeah! #MHC
Twitter Message: 2:33 PM Apr 12th
I was once a self-righteous religious kid. Raised in a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing home, I was baptized at age four because I could answer all of the questions correctly. One of my primary motivations, however, was to get presents like my sister had when she was baptized.
I had an “18 year conversion” to being a follower of Jesus. When I came to Mars Hill at the age of 18, God had already been slowly cutting away at my hard heart for years. But Pastor Mark said something that freaked me out. He said that morality never saved anyone.
I thought I was a lot “better” than all of my friends. They were all on drugs and sleeping around and not going to church. I was doing the opposite, but my heart was hard. I behaved differently because it made me feel like I was better than everyone else. Finally, it hit me then that I needed to surrender myself to Jesus—that I needed him.
I’ve been a stubborn project for God’s sanctification ever since, but he is at work in me. Over the last several years, every time I conducted a membership interview or spoke to other people and suggested they get baptized, I started thinking back on my motivations as a seven-year-old kid.
Here I was telling other people that they should boldly proclaim faith in Christ as a believer, yet I had not done the same. As a leader in the church—a deacon—working towards becoming a pastor (never thought that would happen), I felt a little stuck. What would people think? Would they think that I was not fit to lead? How could I explain it all without looking like an idiot?
Well, God killed my pride. Jesus saved me from fearing man, yet again. He changed my heart to see that it was more important to proclaim him than to worry about all the details. Last Sunday, Easter, I was able to act on conviction and not think my way out of it.
My sister-in-law, Sara, was sitting next to me. She and I have had several conversations about how she should get baptized (man I’m a hypocrite!), but she was also nervous. She was tearing up watching the other people get baptized, so I leaned over and said, “I think I’m gonna get baptized.” She responded, “Me too!” So we went together, and it was awesome to share that with my wife, daughters, and mother-in-law there!
Listen to music from Joel’s band, Red Letter, in the Mars Hill Media Library.