Many people feel that baptism is not necessary or is not an important part of salvation. This kind of thinking is brought about by either a false conversion or they have been taught (and believe) an erroneous doctrine. Baptism is an essential part of a Christian’s life. It is extremely important and vital in our Christian walk and our ability to witness to others. Our duty as Christians is to be obedient to God, and Christ gave us a commandment (not a suggestion) to be baptized.
Mat 28:19-20 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: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Professing Christianity and not being baptized is like living with someone and not being married. Thou it may be more and more acceptable in our society; it is not pleasing to God. Many people are taught and believe that baptism, like a wedding, are just meaningless ceremonies. I disagree with those that make this statement. I know people who are currently living together out of wedlock and in every case that I am aware of, there are underlying issues why they are not married.
Some do not get married because they simply do not trust (completely) their partner. They love them and desire to be with them but they do not trust them enough to legally get married because “What if” something happens. They are afraid that the other person will get something that belongs to them or they will be left in financial ruin.
Another reason some opt to live together instead of marriage is financial reasons. Maybe they are getting government assistance that will be stopped if they are to get married. Maybe it is from a divorce or a death of a former spouse and they will lose an income by getting married. I have even known in some cases where couples have divorced simply to improve their situation by being able to get certain benefits because they are not married. Does this sound like true love? This may be a way to “Beat the system”, but this is not pleasing or acceptable to God.
Both of these reasons “Lack of Trust” and “Beating the System” may be acceptable in this world, but it isn’t the way God intended it to be. Christ tells us that we are to deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow after Him (Mat 16:24). He teaches us that we are to first seek the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat 6:33). A true, born again Christian, will forsake everything for Christ. The apostles and many early church believers were killed for their faith. They were not looking for an easy way out and there was no lack of trust. They knew and understood their condition. They knew that they were lost and had no hope for redemption until Christ came into the world and died on the cross for their sins. One thing is for certain, if you don’t completely trust in Christ for salvation or you are looking for the easy way out, the Bible clearly defines where you will spend eternity.
I have heard many excuses for not being baptized. The two I have heard the most are:
- I don’t have to be baptized to be saved
- I don’t think it is important
If you are a true, God fearing Christian, and you haven’t been baptized, imagine yourself on judgment day when you are face to face with Christ. Do you honestly think these answers will be pleasing to Him? Do you think Christ thinks it is important? Jesus thought it was important enough to do it Himself (Mat 3:15) and to command His disciples to do it to others (Mat 28:19-20). We find in the book of Acts, that the apostles took, what I consider, great urgency in baptizing believers.
Consider the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts chapter 8. He was reading his Bible and was having a difficult time understanding it. God sent Philip to him to teach him and help him understand. In verse 35, scripture says that Philip “Preached unto him Jesus” and the very next verse says: Acts 8:36 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?
This only leads us to one conclusion; the apostle Philip, who preached Jesus to him, also preached water baptism. It is obvious that Christ thought that water baptism was important, so did the apostles and so should we.
Now, I am not saying that water baptism is something that must be done in order to go to Heaven. I am reminded of the thief on the cross, who was not baptized, but was with Christ in paradise. This alone makes me a believer in deathbed conversions and there are people who are unable (For physical reasons) to be baptized. My focus is for those that are able but for one reason or another are unwilling. We are saved by grace alone and by faith alone (Eph 2:8), but after we are saved, we are to labor for Christ. That begins by being baptized, showing those around you what stand for and what you believe in.
It’s not about “Having to”. It’s about “Wanting to”. Having your soul saved from eternal damnation should make you want to do something. There should be a desire to tell people and to show people what God has done for you. There are many wonderful blessings in serving and obeying the Lord.
Mat 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.