Why You Should (And Must!) Get Baptized
Our baptism services are some of my favorite services at Grace Church. Being able to hear the testimonies of men and women of all ages and walks of life talk about how Jesus has radically renovated their lives is a great joy, and seeing them obey Christ in being baptized spurs me on to further take up my cross and follow him.
However, not everyone enjoys baptism services. Some people think baptisms are the weirdest, most boring thing they’ve ever seen! When that’s the case, it’s very unfortunate. Perhaps it is because we have lost sight of the primary significance that baptism is to the Christian life. Just why should we get baptized?
1. Baptism is a direct command from the Lord Jesus to his disciples.
Notice the wording – “it is a direct command from the Lord Jesus!” In other words, if it is true that Jesus is our Lord, then what he commands us to do we should be glad to obey. We have to look no further than the Great Commission to see Christ’s command that his disciples should be baptized (Matt. 28:19). In fact, in Acts 2 on Pentecost, Peter commands those who wanted to receive the gospel message, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sin.” Baptism is an act of obedience towards the Lord who saved us.
2. Baptism is a reenactment of what Christ has done for his disciples.
Undoubtedly, there are people who attend baptism services and wonder to themselves, “What is all this dunking people about, anyway?” To them it is a mystifying ceremony with no significance, because some people have never been taught what baptism conveys! Essentially, baptism is a physical reenactment of what Christ has done spiritually for his disciples. Romans 6:3-4 teaches us that there is a spiritual death and life that occurs when we trust in Christ for salvation – our old self that was dead in sin is buried and our new life of righteousness in Christ lives. Water baptism reenacts that spiritual reality as we bury the person in the water and raise them up again. You could say that baptism, in a way, is both a funeral service and a birthday celebration!
3. Baptism is an encouragement to the church and evangelism to unbelievers.
One of the reasons Grace Church likes to do baptisms in the river is the evangelistic opportunity that it provides. By and large we are not in any great danger when we get baptized publicly today in America, but Christians in the early church were making no small sacrifice when they got baptized in public. The early Christians would have been seen by their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as well as outsiders who were ready to ostracize and persecute these new followers of Jesus. They were making a clear demonstration that they had decided to follow Jesus – the cross before them, the world behind them – no turning back! This would have been a great encouragement to other Christians in their pursuit of Jesus as well as a great example to unbelievers that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a serious matter.
What’s Your Next Step?
“Well,” you might be saying, “I think you’ve made a good case for why I should be baptized! What do I do next to obey the Lord and pursue baptism?” Good question! If you are interested in baptism, or have any questions about baptism, we would love to hear from you! Please contact the church office to get in touch with Pastor Adam. We would love to sit down and talk about your testimony and about baptism with you. Our standard process with candidates for baptism is…
- A brief interview to hear your testimony
- A brief discussion on what baptism is
- Assisting you to prepare a brief personal testimony to share with the congregation
- Setting a date for your baptism (the next baptism date is January 21st)
Perhaps you have already been baptized. What’s your next step? Do you have friends or family members who have yet to get baptized? Why don’t you encourage them to consider obeying Jesus in this simple act of baptism?
I recently heard the story of a 90-year-old woman who gathered her children around her to tell them, “I am most likely going home to the Lord soon. When I meet him, I don’t want to be guilty of never having been baptized.” This 90-year-old got baptized! Before the pastor baptized her, he looked at his congregation and said, “She’s doing this. Why aren’t you?” Perhaps that is a good question for you to consider, as well….