WHY BE BAPTIZED?

By Darwin Hunter

 

Almost every religion which associates itself with Christianity in any way emphasizes baptism.  Many, however, refuse to teach the full doctrine of baptism as revealed in the inspired book of God.  Some teach it is a sprinkling when, in fact, the Bible teaches it is a burial in water (Romans. 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Others teach that it is a commandment for those who are already saved, when the Lord taught it is for believers who desire salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16).  The Bible teaches that penitent believers who are baptized are saved and added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:38, 41, 47).

But all who have already been baptized in a scriptural manner need to revisit what that act meant (and now means) to us.  The way some Christians live, we wonder if they really know what their baptism meant.  Ask yourself these questions...

 

1.   Why be baptized if you do not intend to live for Christ?  The penitent believer is joined (united) with Christ in baptism (Romans 6:4-5).  From that time forth, he is to give himself in obedience to Christ; and to turn away from sin (Romans 6:6ff).  Yet, some who have been baptized live in a way which brings shame upon the Savior and His church (Ephesians. 5:3, 12).  They curse, smoke, drink, dress immodestly, mistreat others, gossip, and have temper tantrums.  This is not the way the redeemed should act!

 

2.   Why be baptized if you no not plan to honor Christ in worship? One who is a Christian has every reason to praise and adore his Savior!  He has been rescued from the doom which is reserved for every unforgiven sinner in hell (Romans. 6:23; Matthew. 25:41).  The Savior has made the sinner’s salvation possible by His willing death at Golgotha (Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:18).  So, why be baptized at all if you do not plan from that time onward to worship and exalt your Lord at every possible opportunity in the assembly of the saints (Hebrews 10:24-25)?

 

3.   Why be baptized if you do not plan to be an active part of His church?  The saved are added to the church (Acts 2:47).  They are a part of that redeemed body, and Christ is the Head (Colossians. 1:18).  Each member has a responsibility to work and to use his talents in the Lords service (Titus 3:1; 1 Corinthians 12:13ff).  Yet, many are baptized and never really become a PART of the church.  They attend whenever they like, and they do not add their talents and their efforts to the work which the church is trying to do.  They want the benefits of the church at the ready whenever they demand them, but they offer nothing to help the church meet other’s needs.  Why be baptized into Christ, and added to His spiritual body, if you think that you are exempt from its work?

All of us who claim to be Christians could benefit from a re-examination of what we committed ourselves to when we came to Christ in obedient faith.  If you were baptized scripturally, you are to be commended.  But, like the rich young ruler who had kept certain commandments from his youth up only to leave unrepented covetousness in his heart, many of us may need to ask, ‘What lack I yet?” (Matthew. 19:16ff).  Our baptism into Christ signified a full allegiance to Christ, His Word, and His church.  Christian, are you living up to the meaning of your baptism?