BAPTISM—URGENT AND ESSENTIAL
In New Testament times people were baptized as soon as they heard the gospel and had faith in Christ (Acts ; -39; -34). There were no postponements or delays; there was no such thing as waiting for a “baptismal day.” It was always “straightway,” “the same day,” “the same hour of the night,” etc. They thought baptism was urgent and essential.
Furthermore, the inspired men of the New Testament did not take baptism lightly. They never poked fun at it saying, “There’s no power in the water,” neither did they accuse some of trusting in “water salvation.” They taught that Jesus made atonement for sin in His death, and they commanded all to believe, repent, and be baptized in order to receive the benefits of His death (Romans 6:3-4). They viewed baptism as an act of faith in and submission to Jesus Christ, the Savior, who has all authority (Matthew 28:18-20).
All would freely admit that there
is no power in the water of baptism. The
power is of the Lord. Jesus healed a
blind man by anointing his eyes and saying, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” (John 9:6-7). The blind man did not object by saying,
“There is no power in the water.” He
knew that the power was of the Lord and he needed to obey to receive the
blessing. Likewise, there is no power in
the water of baptism, but one must go to the water to receive the
blessing. To be cleansed of leprosy,
Naaman was told, “Go and wash in
One is not lost just because he is not baptized. He is lost because he is a sinner. If someone who can’t swim falls into a lake and a boat is sent, but he won’t get into the boat, is he drowning because he won’t get into the boat? No, he is drowning because he is in the water. Likewise, one is not lost just because he is not baptized, but because he is in sin. Just as the boat is the means of rescue and one must get into it, the gospel is the means of salvation and must be obeyed (baptism included) to rescue from sin.
Who has the right today to label baptism as “non-essential” or in anyway minimize any of the commands of Christ? Aren’t all of the commands of the Lord essential? He said, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). As Lord, He has the right to make baptism an important step in the plan. He is the Savior and His will must become ours. He is the “author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
If, when baptized, you put on Christ (Galatians ), wash away sins (Acts ), have remission of sins (Acts ), are saved (Mark ), benefit from Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4), and enter the body of Christ (1 Corinthians ), what is your condition without baptism? Why not repent and be immersed in the name of Christ for the remission of sins? Let no man deceive you. Humbly obey the gospel today!