BAPTISM – Is It Really That Important?

[“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:30).
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).]

(“Why do I need to have Scriptural Baptism?”) [NOTE: See “Some Important Definitions” at the end of this article.]

-We must understand that God’s ways and thoughts are not like ours, His are much higher and greater. A child of God may not think that baptism is very important, but it is what God thinks and what He says that really matters. In Isaiah 55:8, 9 God tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” So if God teaches in His Word that scriptural baptism is important, then we should also agree that it is important and want to be obedient and submissive to God, and not be stubborn and rebellious.

-Scriptural baptism is a requirement in order to be a member of one of Jesus’ New Testament churches, and it is only in being an active member of one of His churches that God receives glory from His children. “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21). Each one of His true churches is: the bride of Christ, the temple of God, the body of Christ, the house of God and the pillar and ground of the truth. This is how and where God must be served and worshipped in spirit and in truth. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24). Jesus loves each of His churches. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25). Since Jesus loves His churches, so should every one of His children. We should want to be members of one of Jesus’ churches. It is through His churches that the Lord carries out His work on earth in this current age.

-The child of God is to place his light ‘on a candlestick’ (Matthew 5:15), and the candlestick is one of Jesus’ New Testament churches (Revelation 1:20). Again, scriptural baptism is required in order for a child of God to be a member of one of Jesus’ true, New Testament churches.

-A child of God should have a great desire in his heart to bring glory to his heavenly Father. This is the ultimate purpose for God creating man, to bring Him glory (Isaiah 43:7). The Ethiopian eunuch after he was saved desired to have scriptural baptism (Acts 8:35-39). Note the rejoicing of this man after his being saved and then having scriptural baptism. Submission and obedience to the heavenly Father brings joy to His children.

-Scriptural baptism is a public testimony of the baptized person that he has received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour prior to baptism, and that he has been cleansed from his sins by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. [NOTE: Baptism has NO part in being saved. It is a good work. A person is scripturally baptized because he is already saved. Only a born again child of God is to be baptized.] We are not to be ashamed of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11), so that every child of God should want to publically show, through scriptural baptism, what Jesus has done for him and not to be ashamed of Jesus.

-Scriptural baptism shows forth the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ death is shown by the initial submersion in the water, His burial is shown by being completely submerged in the water, and Jesus’ resurrection is shown by the coming forth up out of the water. Thus, baptism is also a public and visual display of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ when viewed from a spiritual standpoint. Again, this is something that pleases the heavenly Father.

-The one baptized is publically identified with the Triune Godhead, having been baptized in “..the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19). What a wonderful privilege this is.

-Scriptural baptism is an act of obedience to God and of submission to His will by His children.

-It is the right thing to do. When Jesus was baptized He said to John the Baptist, “..for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). After Jesus was scripturally baptized, God the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Thus, scriptural baptism is well pleasing to the Lord.

-The Great Commission that Jesus gave to each of His churches has a specific order (Matthew 28:19, 20): Go to all people and teach them how to be saved. After a person is saved then Jesus’ church is to baptize him. After he is saved and scripturally baptized then the church is to teach him all things in the scriptures. Since that is what Jesus’ church is commanded to do, then it is logical that for each person the same order applies, that is: hear the gospel of Christ, believe it and receive Jesus as personal Saviour, then follow in scriptural baptism and become part of that local New Testament church, and then be taught the Scriptures by that church of his membership.

-“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). A child of God should love his heavenly Father and keep His commandments, which are not grievous but joyful. Baptism is a commandment.

(These also show the Biblical order that God requires.)

-Prior to beginning His earthly ministry Jesus went to John the Baptist and had him to baptize Him (Matthew 3:13-17). John had been sent from God to baptize (John 1:6). Jesus is the great and perfect example for all of His children in life. “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:” (I Peter 2:21). Every child of God is to follow the example of Jesus in having scriptural baptism.

-All of the Apostles (Acts 1:22) [This was one of the qualifications of the temporary church office of Apostle. These were the first members of Jesus’ church (I Corinthians 12:28).]

-Those saved on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. There were about three thousand souls saved, then scripturally baptized and added to Jesus’ church at Jerusalem. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41, 42).

-Those saved by hearing and believing the Word of God that Philip preached. “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12).

-The Ethiopian eunuch after he was saved (Acts 8:35-39).

-Saul of Tarsus after he was saved (Acts 9:18).

-Those of Cornelius’ household after they were saved (Acts 10:47, 48).

-Lydia, of the city of Thyatira, after she was saved (Acts 16:15).

-The Philippian jailor and his family after they were saved (Acts 16:30-33).

-Crispus, all his household and many of the Corinthians after they heard the gospel of Christ and believed and were saved (Acts 18:8).

-The household of Stephanus after they were saved (I Corinthians 1:16).

-Thus, every member of all of Jesus’ New Testament churches has had scriptural baptism, but only after each one had been saved. Scriptural baptism is a requirement for church membership.

-The Great Commission that Jesus gave to His church: “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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19, 20). After a person hears the gospel of Christ and is saved, the next thing to occur is for that person to desire and then to submit to scriptural baptism, and then to be taught by Jesus’ church of which the person is now a member of. Scriptural baptism is the first commandment to obey after a person is born of God.

-NOTE: The devil will tempt the child of God to not submit to God’s commandment for scriptural baptism and will provide excuses. Some of these temptations may involve religious traditions of the person’s upbringing. There is never a reason not to obey the Lord and His commandments. The Lord warns us in Colossians 2:8, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”


-Scriptural: That which is and is done in the way and manner and for the purposes that God Himself has given in His Word, the Holy Scriptures. This leaves out men’s ways.

-Scriptural Baptism: The complete immersion and submersion in water and then brought up out of the water of a born again child of God by the authority of a scriptural New Testament church. Submersion of a saved person that is not done by the authority of a scriptural New Testament church is invalid and would not be scriptural baptism. Pouring or sprinkling with water on a person certainly would not be scriptural baptism. The literal meaning of the word ‘baptism’ requires submersion under water.

-Scriptural New Testament Church: A local, visible assembly of saved, scripturally baptized people who have covenanted together to carry out the commands and the great commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. It must have been organized by the authority of another scriptural New Testament church. Its lineage goes back to the church that Jesus Himself established during His earthly ministry. Jesus said, “..upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). (NOTE: Jesus is ‘this rock’ that His churches are built upon. He is the foundation for His churches. Jesus is the Head of each of His churches.) The doctrines of every scriptural New Testament church will be the same as that church that Jesus started. Every scriptural New Testament church must be “..the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15). A ‘universal, invisible church’ does NOT exist, and the teaching of it’s existence does much harm to the teaching of the truth about Jesus’ true, New Testament church.

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-“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

-Jesus is the only way to God and heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

-Receive Jesus today as your personal Saviour, and God, by His grace, will give you His gift of everlasting, eternal life.

-Then, submit to scriptural baptism, and then serve the Lord faithfully as an active member in one of His true, New Testament churches to bring honor and glory to the Lord!

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