By Pastor J.D. Link
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Why get water baptized? 1. Jesus commanded it. It is an act of obedience. Mat 28:19-20 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” . Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…”. If this was the only reason to be baptized, it would be sufficient. Jesus commanded it, therefore there is no reason it shouldn’t be done as soon as one is born again. If we are friends of Jesus; if we love Him; if we call Him Lord – then we do what He says (Jn 15:14, 14:21, Lk 6:46).
2. It is symbolic of what has happened in your spirit, when you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Rom 6:1-4 says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
What happens at conversion? The Holy Spirit baptizes (immerses) your spirit into Jesus. The life of Christ is birthed within you. You become a new creation – one with the Lord. Now, you walk in newness of life as a child of light. Water baptism is an outward expression of this spiritual reality. The old you is “buried” in the water, and the new you arises – cleansed and free – to walk as a disciple of Jesus in newness of life. It is an external rite of passage – an initiation – into being Christ‘s disciple.
What are the qualifications for water baptism? You must be a born again Christian, which requires conviction, repentance, heart belief and mouth confession. Notice these four elements, as they relate to water baptism in the Book of Acts: Act 2:37-38 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart (convicted), and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Act 8:36-38 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Conviction is when you get “pricked in your heart”, and you know you are lost; a sinner in need of a savior. You urgently and deeply know you need to get right with God. Repentance is a change of heart and change of mind, which results in a change of direction. It is making the conscious decision, “God, I’m turning from darkness to light; from Satan to You; from my ways to Your ways.” It is doing a 180. It is a changing of mind, which results in a change of purpose. Your desire is now to live for Jesus, though you may stumble along the way.
Belief will all your heart is essential (Rom 10:9-10). You get water baptized because you are saved, not to get saved. It is subsequent to salvation – not the cause of it. The blood of Jesus washes away sins – not river water. The act of water baptism alone, not being mixed with faith, just gets you wet. Finally, You confess Jesus as the Son of God. You declare Him your Lord and Savior. We believe, therefore we speak (2Cor 4:13).
Are you born again? Have you believed on Jesus for eternal life and forgiveness of sins? Why delay? Go now, and be water baptized. Act in faith and obedience. Make a public profession. Declare to the world, “I am now a baptized disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ!” Selah.