Reforming church, culture and our city

Reforming church, culture and our city

Posts Tagged ‘new life

Baptism …

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Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit ‘baptism’ with some of our regulars at GracePoint preparing for baptism. It’s been both refreshing and challenging in reminding me of the importance of baptism for those who are followers Jesus. One of the questions people at church have often asked me is, ‘why should I get baptized?’ The answer is simply, because Jesus commanded it (Matt.28:18-20). And in obedience to Jesus command we see that whenever the first disciples of Jesus preached the gospel and men and women responded, they were baptized. Right after Peter preached at Pentecost and people believed, he baptized them (Acts 2:38-41). When the Philippian jailer believed, Paul baptized him and his whole family in the middle of the night (Acts 16:29-34). When the Ethiopian eunuch was converted, Philip baptized him in the desert (Acts 8:34-38). To neglect baptism is to disregard the command of Jesus, and to reject the sign of the gospel that God himself gives us for our benefit.

What many Christians fail to realize is that baptism is a sign of the saving work of Jesus in cleansing, forgiving and bringing us new life. Baptism is not my act of repentance, and neither does it signify repentance. In fact, in the New Testament, baptism is used as a sign of our being buried with Christ so as to share his risen life; being born again; having our sins washed away; having God’s judgment dealt with and being adopted into God’s family (Rom.6:3-4; John 3:5; Acts 22:16; 1 Cor.6:9-11l 1 Pet.3:21; Gal.3:27-29). Baptism is a sign of the saving work of Jesus! (Col.2:11-15) Baptism is not something that we should ignore if we’re Bible believing and Jesus loving Christians. That’s not to say that baptism saves you or that you are any less spiritual if you aren’t baptized. We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus alone (Eph.2:8-9)

But I would still ask the question, ‘why aren’t you baptized?’ Because baptism was not only commanded by Jesus, but also given for your benefit as an outward sign to symbolize an inward spiritual reality for those of you who have repented and trusted in Jesus and his saving work – a sign of the gospel’s promise to save or a sign of God’s salvation in cleansing, forgiving and giving you new life. Like a wedding ring that’s given with promises, every time a Christian looks at their baptism, it is a sign that serves as a reminder to them of God’s saving work in Jesus in saving them, cleansing them, forgiving them, and giving them new life.

As I said to those preparing for baptism, ‘baptism is God’s gift to you – a visible sign of the gospel that he gives you to encourage you, to strengthen you, to remind you of what Jesus has done for you’. When you are baptized, you are baptized on the authority of Jesus who is Lord of all things and holds all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt.28:19), effectively saying you belong to Him. When you are baptized, you are receiving the visible sign of God’s saving work in Jesus and what he’s done in cleansing, forgiving and giving you new life.

Let me encourage you if you haven’t been baptized, to do so, in obedience to the command of Jesus and for your own benefit and encouragement as a disciple of Jesus.

Written by eugenehor

June 27, 2008 at 2:47 pm