This past Sunday I was trying to explain why my daughter would be coming forward asking for baptism when she was already a baptized member of our church. I did a poor job of explaining her decision. At the age of 5, Mckinzie professed her faith in Jesus as her Savior and was baptized. At the time, Denise and I worked hard to make sure she fully understood the decision she was making. We both felt very comfortable with her answers. Over the last couple of years, our family has gone through many changes that left Mckinzie struggling with her faith. She never doubted the reality of God, Jesus’ death on our behalf or the important doctrines of our faith. What she began to doubt was her relationship with Jesus. While on the mission trip last week, Mckinzie realized that while she had asked Jesus to forgive her sins, she had never fully placed her trust in Him as her Lord and as the One who wants to love her unconditionally forever. She made the decision to fully place her life in the hands of Jesus. For that reason, we will baptize Mckinzie.
I absolutely believe that when a person asks Jesus to forgive them of their sins and become the Lord of their life, that person becomes a child of God with Heaven as their eternal destination. As Baptists, we use the phrase “once saved, always saved.” That phrase is true. There is nothing we can do to lose our salvation. At the same time, Jesus said we would be known by our works. James talks about demonstrating his faith by his works. A true follower of Jesus will be characterized by actions that demonstrate their faith. Our works do not save us; they simply give testimony to the faith that resides in us.
I hope this explanation clears up any confusion my message may have left from Sunday. I am proud of Mckinzie for her honesty in confessing that something was not right in her relationship with Jesus and making sure God made it right.