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Matthew 3:1-15
But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires” (Matthew 3:15).

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Read Acts 2:38,41, Acts 8:12,36-38, Acts 9:18, Acts 16:14-15,31-33, Acts18:8, Acts 22:16 and notice that those who believed in Jesus were immediately baptized.

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What do you think is the significance of baptism? If you haven’t been baptized, what’s stopping you?

The announcement couldn’t have been clearer: “Water baptism is not an option for the believer in Jesus. Please sign up for baptism. Baptismal classes begin in 2 weeks time.” After the service, a young man confronted the pastor. “Pastor, I am saved by grace and not through baptism. I don’t see the need for baptism.”

John the Baptizer called the Jews to repent of their sins and to turn to God (Matthew 3:2). He preached that “people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven” (Luke 3:3). “And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River” (Matthew 3:6). According to John, baptism is an outward symbol of inward repentance and reveals a commitment to live a holy life.

Jesus was sinless (1 John 3:5), so John refused to baptize Him because he felt unqualified (Matthew 3:11-14). But Jesus insisted (Matthew 3:15).

Why was Jesus baptized when He didn’t need to be? Did it signify Jesus’ acceptance of the suffering that He would endure as Savior, foreshadowing His death and resurrection? (Mark 10:38; Luke 12:50). Did it allow Him to identify with the sinful people He came to save? Jesus Himself tells us why He did it: “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires” (Matthew 3:15).

Water baptism does not save us (Ephesians 2:8-9), but that doesn’t mean that it’s unimportant or unnecessary. Once saved, you need to testify outwardly of your inward repentance and affirm your commitment to live a holy life (Romans 6:3-6). Baptism allows you to testify publicly that you’re a believer in Jesus (Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12).

It boils down to simple obedience. If Jesus obeyed the Father’s command, why wouldn’t you?

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Samuel 15:1-37

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2 Responses to “why baptism?”

  1. tom felten says:

    Great thoughts on baptism, KT! We’ll be baptizing some precious people at our local church this month—so looking forward to it.

  2. daisymarygoldr says:

    True; Jesus sought to get baptized to fulfill God’s requirements. And what was that requirement? God wanted Christ to be counted with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Luke 22:37) in order to take away our sins. When Jesus willingly humbled Himself to be identified with sinners, God acknowledged Him as His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. Likewise, all who are baptized have clothed ourselves with Christ and thereby God acknowledges us as His children (Galatians 3: 26-27).

    In the Bible, baptism is compared with Noah and his family getting saved through the flood waters and the Israelites’ crossing of the Red Sea. So basically, it signifies separation from death unto life— a public profession of being separated from the old life of slavery to sin to begin our new life in service of God. Thus baptism is central to the Lord’s commission and marks the beginning of our lives as His disciples.

    Also, baptism was the ordination of Jesus into public ministry. God personally anointed Him with the Holy Spirit who came upon Him in the form of a dove. Baptism therefore, is a requirement for each and every Christian to be set apart for ministry. The laying on of hands after baptism signifies the receiving of the Holy Spirit who equips the believer with spiritual gifts required for fruitful service in the body of Christ.

    Unfortunately many in cultural Christianity are ignorant of these foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church. It is because of this lack of clear understanding of God’s word there is so much confusion in the church today. Without any clear break from the past post-baptism to walk in the newness of life, Christians doubt their salvation. And many rush into ministry and mission trips, without the anointing and equipping of spiritual gifts.

    This has resulted in a church full of passive and powerless people with ineffective witness. In an effort to address these problems, all kinds of crazy concepts are crafted that promotes unscriptural teachings on eternal security and once saved always saved. Instead of receiving God’s anointing tests for spiritual gifts inventory are being administered— adding more chaos to the confusion. It boils down to simple obedience to carry out all that God requires. And it is only through the gift of God’s Spirit we are able to obey His commands.

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