At the end of the world’s largest 10K race, everyone who finishes the race receives a t-shirt. That’s a 60,000 t-shirt order! Only a few people leave with a pay check but everyone that completes the race leaves with the coveted Peachtree Road Race t-shirt.
Getting a Peachtree Road Race t-shirt is a big deal for these runners. They proudly wear their t-shirt to 4th of July events as well as other public settings where they can tout their accomplishment. Once you receive a Peachtree Road Race t-shirt, you wear it proudly wanting everyone to see and know what you have done.
The Peachtree Road Race t-shirt is to a runner what baptism is to a disciple. Baptism is the symbol, the mark, that lets everyone know you belong to Christ and his movement. Baptism, like the t-shirt, is the outward sign you display in public so that everyone knows you have joined 59,999 other people in a mission.
An interesting thing about the Peachtree is that there are lots of other t-shirts associated with the race. In fact, everywhere you turn there are people wearing t-shirts with Peachtree Race emblems on them. There is only one t-shirt, however, that is given to race finishers. The race t-shirt only goes to those who are committed to run the race. Baptism was designed to be a sign of commitment to the mission and movement of Christ.
A second observation about the race t-shirt is the fact that they are given out at the finish line and not the starting line. You can’t go public with a Peachtree t-shirt until after you have finished the race. Likewise, baptism is designed to follow salvation never prior to salvation. I’ve met lots of people who were baptized before they even knew what it meant to be a believer.
Jesus told us to “make disciples” by baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Here is what that means; Baptism matters! The public expression of an inward commitment to Christ is important and it is an act that every disciple should be proud to take.
Impact Ministries exists to help you learn how to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Check out impactdisciples.com for more information about disciple making.