This is an extension of Gary Khan’s article, “Come On In, the Water’s Fine!”
Why should I be baptized?
- Because Jesus commands it. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19-20 that we are to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is part of fulfilling the Great Commission.
- Because we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus did not just command us to be baptized; He led by example. He was baptized in the Jordan (Mark 1:9) not because He had to be, but in order to lead by example.
- Because we want the world to know. Baptism is a public declaration of our commitment to be a disciple of Christ and to obey His commands. We may have made an inward decision, but our baptism brings that decision out into the open. We declare to all that we have decided to follow Jesus! (1 John 2:3).
The Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is a symbolic act reminding us of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. We wade into the water as the “old man,” we are “buried” when we are immersed, and we are “resurrected” as a new creature in Christ when we come up out of the water.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:4).
Baptism does not make you a believer – it indicates that you already believe. It is similar to a wedding ring. The ring is not the marriage; it is simply an outward symbol of an inward commitment.
Who should be baptized?
Everyone who has made a confession of faith in Christ.
Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2:41).
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw (Acts 8:12-13).
When should you be baptized?
As soon as possible after you have made the decision to follow Jesus.
The Bible never tells us to wait until we feel good enough or worthy enough. Just do it! (Acts 8:36-39).