Baptism is an integral part of the Christian experience. Even before Christ was preaching, healing, and teaching, John was declaring, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near”, and baptizing people in the Jordan River (Matthew 3).
Why should we be baptized today?
God loves us and accepts us. He also understands the longings of our hearts. Does this mean baptism is unimportant? On the contrary, it suggests that baptism is even more critical – particularly in today’s world where the growing and popular belief is that there are many ways to salvation (many ways to God).
Here are five reasons why I think everyone who receives Christ should be baptized:
1. To Publicly Confess Your Commitment to Christ
We have Christian brothers and sisters all around the world who are persecuted and killed daily because of their unwillingness to deny Christ. According to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, more people are being killed for their faith today than at any other time in history. They stand before governments, terrorists, and family members stating - clearly and definitively - that they believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ.
While we should continue to find ways to support and encourage these fellow believers, one of the most obvious is through baptism. When we are baptized, we declare to the world that we have decided to follow Jesus.
Our declaration can encourage others and assure them that they are not alone.
Furthermore, if we are unwilling to get baptized in one of the freest countries in the world, how likely will we be to declare our commitment to Christ if and when we face persecution?
2. Because Christ Did It
A few years back the popular trend on Christian bracelets and billboards was WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).
It is an excellent way to look at life because we are constantly reminded to measure our life decisions against those of Jesus.
If we are committed to living our life as Christ did, then baptism is a clear decision to make. After all, Mark 1:9 states, “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”
Baptism was good enough for Jesus – which should make it good enough for all of his followers.
3. To Grow with Christ in His Death and Resurrection
Romans 6 states, “Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life. For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, indeed we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
Baptism is our opportunity to die symbolically to self and be resurrected as a loving and compassionate follower of Jesus. Just as a graduation, marriage, or the New Year allows us to reset and start afresh, baptism gives us the opportunity to throw off the old self and put on the new.
4. To Celebrate the Forgiveness of Sin
As Peter stated in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
We are forgiven for our sins through repentance, and this cleansing is best illustrated through the symbolism of baptism.
The picture in baptism is that our sins and our old life are left in the water, and we come out new, cleansed, and completely renewed in the identification with Christ in His glorious resurrection.
What a refreshing step of obedient faith for us, and what a witness to others! Jesus asks us to come to him so he can take away our burdens.
Repentance is our acceptance of this offer, and baptism is our celebration. “Forgiveness of sins is the blessed joy and privilege of every believer (MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Acts 1-12, p. 75).”
5. Because Christ Commands It
This is perhaps the greatest reason of all: Jesus commands that every Christian be baptized.
Matthew 28:18-20 reads, “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 assist them to grow.
Many people think, “I will be baptized after I have grown up. After I know about the Christian life, then I will be baptized.” Baptism should occur be right after you make the decision to follow Christ.
In fact, baptism is the very first command Jesus gives you after repentance. If you cannot obey this simple instruction, how can you obey more challenging ones?
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.
If you have not yet been baptized, I encourage you to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider taking the first steps towards baptism today. Follow the link below to learn more about baptism and schedule your baptism today.
Keywords: Why should I be baptized?