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Why Be Baptized?

Why need to you obtain baptized? Let me give you three reasons. My hope in laying out these factors is that you will find them not just persuasive however additionally inviting and compelling. As we’ll check out, Christ not just regulates believers to obtain baptized, baptism is additionally a gift he graciously gives for our benefit and blessing.

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Here then are three reasons to get baptized: (1) to obey Christ’s command, (2) to publicly profess faith in Christ, and also (3) to formally commit yourself to Christ and his people.

1. To Obey Christ’s Command

Why should you get baptized? To obey Christ’s command also. Which command? The one he offers us in Matthew 28:19. Let’s look at this verse in context:

And Jesus came and also shelp to them, “All authority in heaven and also on earth has actually been provided to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and also of the Divine Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have actually commanded you. And behost, I am via you always, to the finish of the age.” (Matt. 28:18–20)

Here Jesus addressed his elalso disciples soon after he died for our sins and climbed from the dead. He had actually completed salvation, and also now he charged his disciples to proclaim news of this salvation to eexceptionally nation on the earth. In verse 18, we learn that as an outcome of his saving fatality and also resurrection, Jesus possesses “all authority in heaven and also on earth.” He is the supreme ruler of the universe, the sovepower of sovereigns.

Jesus then gave his disciples—and by implication all believers—one major command: “Make disciples” (Matt. 28:19). Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. He needs his followers, then and also currently, to summon others to follow him. He then gave three supporting instructions that show us exactly how to “make disciples.” First, we need to go. We should go to wbelow the countries are, whether that means crossing the street, crossing town, or crossing an ocean. 2nd, we baptize those that follow Christ. And finally, he tells us to instruct new disciples to obey eexceptionally one of his regulates. To become Jesus’s folreduced is to give your whole life to trusting Jesus, following Jesus, finding out and obeying Jesus’s teaching, and adhering to Jesus’s example.

So according to Jesus, we “make disciples” by baptizing true believers and also teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded. The order is important: make disciples, baptize, teach.

Are you a disciple of Jesus? Then you need to present it by baptism—that’s what Jesus said. Jesus desires those who have trusted him as Savior and also submitted to him as Lord to obtain baptized. As you deserve to watch, then, baptism publicly identifies someone as a disciple of Jesus. Baptism formally and also publicly enrolls a disciple in the institution of Christ.

God marks his civilization by baptism. By getting baptized, we are fundamentally placing on a jersey that says “Team Jesus”—we’re playing by his rules and following his regulates. By following Jesus’s command also to acquire baptized, we’re saying we’re committed to execute all that he commanded.

Now, what precisely does Jesus mean when he states “baptize”? Here is a meaning of baptism I offered in an additional short book, referred to as Understanding Baptism:

Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and also showing a believer’s union through Christ by immersing him or her in water, and a believer’s act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and also his human being, thereby uniting a believer to the church and also marking off him or her from the human being. 1


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Now that’s a little of a mouthful. More simply, baptism is a believer’s act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and also his people by being immersed in water.

We have actually already viewed from Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 28:19 that baptism is exactly how someone publicly commits to follow Christ. And we’ll see biblical support for much of this meaning in the next 2 sections. Here we can sindicate note that baptism should be performed by immersion. The Greek word baptizō, on which our word “baptize” is based, means to dip or plunge something totally into a liquid. New Testament examples of baptism indicate that it was done by immersion (John 3:23; Acts 8:38–39), and also immersion ideal fits the imagery of union through Christ in his burial and also resurrection, which we will take into consideration in the following section (Rom. 6:1–4).

To summarize Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 28:19, we deserve to say that baptism is the first item on Jesus’s list of “Everypoint I Have Commanded You.” Why need to you acquire baptized? Because if you think about yourself a follower of Jesus, then, after repenting and also believing (Mark 1:15), the first formal, public act of complying with that Jesus requires of you is baptism. The Christian life is even more than adhering to regulates, but it certainly isn’t much less. So after the command also to repent and think, here’s your initially “to-do” from Jesus. All you need to carry out is declare your confidence and lean back.

2. To Publicly Profess Faith in Him

A second reason why you need to acquire baptized is to publicly profess your belief in Jesus. We’ve watched that this element of baptism is implicit in Matthew 28:19. It’s more explicit in a couple of various other locations in Scripture.

For instance, as soon as those who heard Peter preach on Penteexpense were convicted of their sin, they asked him what to do, and he urged them to repent and also be baptized (Acts 2:37–38). And then we review, “So those who received his word were baptized, and also tright here were included that day about 3 thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). Receiving the word and being baptized went hand also in hand. All those that taken on the gospel were baptized, and just those who taken on the gospel were baptized. Baptism was how those at Pentecost publicly proclaimed their take on of Christ, the crucified and resurrected Messiah. And baptism is exactly how you deserve to and also must openly declare that you trust in Christ.Similarly, think about Paul’s teaching in Colossians 2:11–12:

In him likewise you were circumcised via a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having actually been hidden via him in baptism, in which you were also elevated through him through faith in the powerful working of God, who elevated him from the dead.

Note just how baptism and also faith go hand also in hand also. Addressing a congregation of baptized Christians, Paul claims that they were buried and also increased with Christ in baptism. He also offers baptism as a shorthand to describe the whole event of their convariation.

He does this bereason baptism is a visible, tangible, public, dramatic expression of confidence in Christ. It’s noticeable, memorable, datable. You get soaked, and also everyone present sees you disappear under the water and reshow up up out of the water. That’s why Paul singles out baptism as a sign of convariation. But he doesn’t just refer to baptism. He claims, “in which you were also increased via him via faith” (Col. 2:12). Paul assumes that belief was current at the time of baptism, bereason belief was the reason for baptism. Faith in the resurrection power of God is why those Christians presented themselves for baptism. And publicly expressing that exact same confidence is why you need to be baptized also.

Why is it an excellent point to publicly declare your belief in Christ? We’ve currently checked out that Christ regulates it. In enhancement, advertising your belief in Christ is good for your confidence. Declaring your belief will certainly deepen your faith. Confessing your confidence will certainly confirm your faith. Sharing your confidence will strengthen your faith.

Not only that, but baptism mirrors us the shape of the whole Christian life. If you’re a Christian, you can’t just declare your confidence once in baptism and then go radio silent about Jesus for the remainder of your life. Instead, openly advertising your belief in Christ have to be part of the consistent towel of your life from now on. One of the first points civilization learn around you should be that you’re a Christian. That Christ is your Savior must be what you’re most excited to tell civilization. More, Jesus himself alerts that belief that remains a mystery is no belief at all. “So everyone that acknowledges me prior to men, I likewise will certainly acexpertise before my Father who is in heaven, however whoever denies me prior to guys, I additionally will deny before my Father that is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32–33).

Openly heralding your confidence in Christ must be part of the regular cloth of your life from now on.


3. To Commit to Christ’s People

We’ve viewed that in baptism you commit to Christ. Now we will certainly view that in baptism you commit to Christ’s civilization. As we’ve already watched, on the day of Pentecost, those that obtained the word were baptized and also included to the church (Acts 2:41). All those that received Christ that day were got by the church. And the means the church received them was by baptizing them. In baptism, you action out of the human being and right into the church. In baptism, you declare your loyalty to Christ. In baptism, you enlist in Christ’s company. Your commitment to Christ’s civilization complies with logically, necessarily, and instantly from your commitment to Christ.

The commitment that those who were baptized on Penteexpense made with the church was no mere ticking of a box. Instead, this new commitment to Christ’s people basically transformed the cloth of their stays. We review in the complying with verses that the whole church in Jerusalem, consisting of these 3 thousand that joined the church by baptism on Penteprice, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to fellowship, to breaking breview, and also to praying together (Acts 2:42). They common their stays and their possessions (Acts 2:44). They also marketed off residential or commercial property in order to give the proceeds to believers in need (Acts 2:45). They prayed and ate together daily (Acts 2:46). The fruit of their commitment to one another was a well-off, inviting communion via one one more, a communion that inspired awe in outsiders (Acts 2:43). And the implies by which they committed to one one more was baptism. In baptism those believers bound themselves to Christ and also to each other. In other words, in baptism you commit to Christ’s human being.

We likewise check out that baptism commits a Christian to Christ’s world in 1 Corinthians 12:13. Paul writes, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized right into one body—Jews or Greeks, servants or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” Is Paul referring to baptism in water or baptism by the Spirit? I would certainly suggest that Paul has both in mind. Christians are reborn and joined through Christ and his body by the job-related of the Spirit, and also our baptism in water signifies that baptism by the Spirit.

Some world question whether being “baptized right into one body” refers to the universal church or the regional church. Here aobtain I would indicate that the previous implies the latter. Elsewhere, Paul occasionally uses the principle of the “body” of Christ to define all believers at all times in all locations (see Eph. 1:22–23). But, in the complying with verses in 1 Corinthians, Paul focuses on a regional church. Only in a local church deserve to one member incorrectly say to one more, “I don’t require you” (1 Cor. 12:21). Only in a regional church deserve to members honor the less-honored (1 Cor. 12:23–24). Only in a neighborhood church deserve to all endure together, and also all rejoice together (1 Cor. 12:26). So offered the conmessage of the whole chapter, Paul is saying in verse 13 that our baptism unites us to the body of Christ—that is, to a regional body of Christ. Baptism inserts you into the living organism that is a regional church.

In baptism, 2 parties sheight, and 2 parties commit. In baptism, you ask for welcome, and also the church exoften tends it. In baptism, you pledge yourself to the church, and also the church pledges itself to you. The Christian life is not expected to be resided in private, nor is it meant to be lived alone. Baptism brings your life into the light of the church’s loving issue. Baptism sets you within the strengthening and sustaining communion of Christ’s civilization.


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Bobby Jamieson (PhD, College of Cambridge) serves as an associate pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He formerly served as assistant editor for 9Marks. Jamieson and his wife have four youngsters.


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