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
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” (John 14:15).]
-REASONS THAT SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM IS SO IMPORTANT:
(“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.
-SOME EXAMPLES GIVEN IN THE SCRIPTURES:
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
-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
-Lydia, of the city of Thyatira, after she was saved (Acts
-The Philippian jailor and his family after they were saved
-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
-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.”
-SOME IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS:
-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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
-“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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