1. To follow the example set by Christ.
Mark 1:9, “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”
Why was Jesus baptized? In order to save him? No, He did not need to be saved. He was perfect. Baptism does not save you. It is a symbol of obedience, and it is an example that we are to do what He has done.
2. Because Christ commands it.
Christ commands that every Christian be baptized. Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus said, ‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” These are the three things the church is commanded to do: Make disciples — help people come to know Christ; Baptize them; and Help them grow. Many people think, “I’ll be baptized after I have grown up. After I know about the Christian life, then I will be baptized.” No, it’s right after you make the decision to follow Christ. Notice the order: You make the disciples, then you baptize them, then you spend the rest of your life following and growing as a Christian.
3. It demonstrates that I’m really a believer.
Acts 18:8 says, “Many of the people who heard him believed and were baptized.” Baptism does not make you a Christian. It just shows that you are a Christian. A wedding ring does not make you married. It is a symbol of the commitment that you make when you are married. On the wedding day, the bride and groom make a commitment before God and some witnesses. They say “I do,” and they give their lives to each other and for the rest of their lives. That commitment is what makes them married, not the ring. If the ring were lost, they would still be married. Baptism is like a wedding ring. It is an outward symbol of an inward commitment.
That is what baptism is. Baptism does not make you a Christian. It is just an outward symbol of an inward commitment. It is your commitment to Christ that saves you. Baptism just says to the world, “I am not ashamed to tell the whole world what’s happened to me. I have given my life to Christ Jesus.” A little boy once asked, “When can I get advertised?” That’s what baptism is. Baptism is an advertisement for Jesus. It is saying, “I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ.” Jesus said, “If you’re ashamed of Me in front of the world then I’ll be ashamed of you in front of MY Father in heaven (Luke 9:26).” Obey Christ. His first command to you is be baptized.