I recently had the privilege to baptize four folks from our church during a Sunday morning service. It was a wonderful time! I especially enjoyed watching the videos of the testimonies of the folks who were about to be baptized. Because I knew the testimony videos and then the baptisms themselves were going to take some time, I kept my message short and to the point. My goal was to explain why Baptism is a big deal.
Interestingly, I had a lot of folks tell me afterwards that it was helpful to hear about the significance of baptism and to get a better understanding of baptism, and what the Bible has to say about it. I am sharing some notes from my sermon in this blog post.
When someone asks me why we should get baptized my response is something like this: “Baptism is a step of joyful obedience to Jesus that a believer in Jesus takes to publicly celebrate and make known their commitment to follow Jesus.”
Baptism is an act of obedience. See The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20
Baptism is something Jesus did. See Matthew 3:15-17.
Baptism doesn’t save you! Only believing in Jesus saves a person! An example from scripture of someone who was not baptized would be the thief on the cross next to Jesus. See Luke 23:39-43.
Baptism is for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior. It is meant to be done after believing in Jesus not before. This is always the order in the Bible (this is one of the
reasons why I do not baptize infants, but rather perform dedications for infants).
Baptism symbolizes “Death, Burial, and Resurrection” For Jesus this was death on the cross, burial in a tomb, and literal resurrection. For us it is burying our old self (life before Christ) and taking on the new self (life in Christ) that is symbolized. See Colossians 2:12, and Romans 6:3-4
Baptism is meant to be done by immersion. There are no examples of it done by sprinkling in the Bible, and the Greek word for Baptize literally means to immerse and fully submerge.
Baptism is a joy! It is done out of loving obedience to Jesus. See Acts 8:35-39.
Baptism is an outward expression of what has happened inwardly. Baptism signifies and symbolizes new life in Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Baptism is a celebration of God’s work of making us new, of redeeming and changing lives!
If you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior, I hope that you have experienced the joy of obeying Jesus by being baptized. It is truly a joy to follow Christ in baptism.