Jesus commanded us to be baptized in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16. Jesus went on to say in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” The Christ-following life is one of daily obedience to Christ and His Word. One of the first steps we can take is to be obedient to Jesus’ command to be baptized.
Even Jesus himself modeled baptism to us by being baptized Himself! Even though He was the sinless Son of God who was in perfect relationship with the Father, Jesus set the example for us when He got baptized in Matthew 3:13-17. Jesus never asks us to do something that He was not willing to do himself.
Jesus desires us to be witnesses for Him (Acts 1:8) and not keep our faith private. Yes, it’s a personal decision, but Christ’s mission is to lead every person to this same personal decision as well. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:32-33, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
Baptism is a public confession of one’s faith in Christ. It’s been said, “Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward transformation.”
Many times, all of us can make emotional decisions in our relationship with God, but then never think about it again afterward. There is nothing wrong with emotion, it’s a powerful thing God has given us to enrich our lives on earth, but our faith can’t be based on emotion alone. The entire process of deciding to get baptized creates an opportunity to think more about the life-changing decision they’ve made. It strengthens our faith to get out of our comfort zones and into a pool of water for Jesus.
The Bible says the Church is the body of Christ and through baptism, we are joined to that body (1 Cor. 12:12-13). God hasn’t designed us to live out our faith alone. He wants every believer to get connected to the family of God. Baptism introduces a person’s story to the church, makes them a familiar face, and helps a person get connected relationally.
Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Galatians 3:27 goes on to say, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
As a person is fully immersed into the water, they experience the repentance of their sin and connect to Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for that sin. As they are raised up out of the water they are filled with the hope of Christ’s saving power! The Gospel then becomes a personal message and personal experience through the step of baptism.