To leave family and job to follow Jesus seems counter-intuitive behavior. The Great Commission, Jesus’ last command, calls every follower of Jesus to go teach and make disciples by our life-style and words. 70% of Americans are not involved with church. But our task is not to fill up church pews, but to fill up heaven with souls who have accepted the Good News.
The same grace that saved Paul and John Newton saves us and not only gives us a right relation to God, but also makes us part of something larger than ourselves–the body of Christ–to do the work of Christ in the world. Spiritual work must be done by spiritual means, empowered by the Holy Spirit by God’s grace–unmerited favor.
And like that baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, so baptism marks our new beginning. Baptism is not the finish line, but baptism, after receiving the Holy Spirit’s power, marks the launching of our ministry to do God’s work by His Spirit.