HONG KONG: "I no longer want to live according to my lusts. I want to commit myself to a life free from sin", says 17 year old Mattias Mulunda, who has made the most important decision of his life.
"Baptism is a covenant made between God and man." (Johan O Smith)
Mattias Mulunda is just a normal young man from Hong Kong; he likes playing football, computer games and hanging out with his friends. But on 26th September 2010, Mattias chose to do something unusual for a guy of his age. He chose to be baptised, to enter into a covenant of good conscience with God.
"In baptism we say farewell to the old world, and stand up again to lead a completely new life."
This is what Sverre Riksfjord wrote about baptism in the booklet What does the Bible say about..., which handles various themes using the Bible as a basis of understanding.
Rolf Telle has also described what the covenant entered into through baptism means to the individual, in his article Baptism in water:
"Baptism is the initiation into discipleship. Accordingly, I have then decided to live totally for Jesus Christ. He is now my teacher, and I am his student. I have given up the old life of sin."
A Conscious Choice
Mattias understands that baptism is a confirmation of the covenant he is committing himself to.
"I must give God everything; that means my whole life, my will and all my plans, and believe completely and firmly that He will make everything work out for the best for me, so I can live how he wants me to."
There is something definite and immovable about this 17 year old that makes an obvious impression. He speaks calmly and quietly, but with an authority and a strength that can only come from someone who has made a conscious choice.
"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom.6)
"I no longer want to live according to my lusts. I want to commit myself to a life free from sin. The joy of living for one's lusts is very brief and empty; it's not real happiness", says Mattias.
The life Mattias has seen in faithful and God-fearing people he has to do with has been an important source of inspiration for him.
"I have seen a life in faithful people around me, and that's inspired me. The only thing that brings true happiness is to give up living for your lusts, and to live for God."
Mattias has already experienced that his covenant has been a help for him.
"I have gained greater faith that it is possible to conquer and rule over the evil that is in me. That in turn makes me more determined. I also pray much more than before, not just now and then; when I am tempted I pray to God for help to make the right choices", says the 17 year old.