Originally transcribed for the occasion of his Baptism, 4th October 2015
"Hello. First of all I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everybody here today. I know that for many
coming to Church isn’t something you really do so I am so grateful to you that you have come to
witness this very special point in my Christian life.
Today is not just about me and our desire for God but it is about giving praise to God
and thanking him for sending Jesus to die so that we may have the chance to live with him in
I was born to Christian parents just around the corner from this Church. My dad is the pastor
here, so many would automatically assume that I- by default- would become a Christian. This
however is certainly not the case. Becoming a Christian is about one’s personal relationship
with God and is not about your background. I find it truly amazing to think about the dying thief
on the cross next to Jesus who, in the last moments of his life- despite his bad ways and
background- saw God’s grace and was able to enter in to glory.
Though some people are able to, I cannot pinpoint a date where I became a Christian but there
were two times in my life that I can remember as significant. The first time I can think of was
about springtime 2006 when I was 6 years old and I was just going about my normal Saturday
lunchtime in a normal way when, quite suddenly, a thought came in to my head, something that
I had never thought about before and that was the sudden realisation that at some point I was
going to die. This troubled me as I went to bed, so I prayed; I didn’t really know what I was
looking for or what I was asking God for but it had troubled me.
I listened intently to Dad’s sermon the next day, I can’t remember what the sermon was about
(that’s not to say the preaching here is easy to forget by the way!) but the sermon challenged
me enough to think further. It was a few days later when I prayed a very simple prayer: thanking
God for his son Jesus and that I want him to be a part of my life. Even at a very young age, I felt
as if my worries had been relieved.
Despite this, I didn’t really understand the radical change that had happened in my life and it
wasn’t until a few years later that I understood more about being a Christian. I realised that
before I was spiritually dead but Jesus died so that I could have the Holy Spirit in me to make
me alive! I was about 9 years old when I prayed asking for my wrongdoings to be washed away
and that is why I love the words from the hymn ‘When Peace Like a River’ , where it says “My
sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to his cross and I bear it no more.”
When compared to other conversions, my story may not sound particularly dramatic, but every
conversion is so significant that in Luke 15:7 we are told that Heaven rejoices at the repentance
of one person. As soon as that radical conversion took place, I became a ‘new creation’ as it
says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has
passed away; behold the new has come”
My Grandma was somebody who was totally spiritually minded. All of my grandparents love The
Bible and have given me spiritual encouragement and support regularly but Grandma, duringher time on earth, spoke about her grandchildren continuing her ‘legacy’ of reading the Bible
and praying every day and making our lives totally devoted to God. I praise God that because I
know that if I were to die right now, I would go straight to Heaven and I would see all of the
people- such as my Grandma- that I knew who loved God while on earth; not only that but I
would see the one who died and suffered for me so I could go straight to Heaven.
My baptism symbolises my old sinful self being buried and being completely dead and rising as
a resurrection with Jesus. I take comfort in the words of Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified
with Christ so that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by
faith in the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I am getting baptised because I want to follow my saviour who gave up his life for me and I’d
like to ask you to consider if you have accepted Jesus as your own personal saviour."
Jonathan is the third of Pastor Tim's four Children; he has been attending Wigmore all his life and regulary preaches both at here and elsewhere