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Have You Been Baptized?
By Terry Schwartz
Pastor Kyle praying with a lady he is baptizing
Pastor Kyle praying with a lady he is baptizing

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying… Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

If we are disciples of Jesus, and all believers in Christ are, then baptism is a command that demands only one response and that response is obedience.

What is Baptism?

The term baptize is derived from the Greek word "baptizo", meaning "to dip" or "to immerse." Baptism therefore denotes the action of immersing in water as a symbolic action of Christian initiation. Acts 2:41

The idea of immersion is also evident in the metaphorical uses of baptism. Matthew 10:38, 1 Corinthians 10:2 While the origins of Christian baptism have been variously sought in Old Testament and Jewish purification practices, such as is seen in 1 Corinthians 10:2 which speaks of Israel being Baptized into Moses, the baptism of John provides us with the clearest example of how we should be baptized. The act of going under and then rising from the water is a powerful symbol of the believer's identification with Christ in His death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4), and cleansing from sin (Acts 22:16).

Christian baptism is to be performed in the name of Christ (Acts 2:38) or the Trinity (Matthew 28:19), signifying identification with our Lord.

Infant Baptism

There is always a great time of worship before each baptism
There is always a great time of worship before each baptism

Many people from a Catholic or Orthodox background have been baptized as infants into the Church. Yet it is clear that the Word does not give this as an option to be pursued. If we look at all the commands to be Baptized in the Scriptures we can see as Pastor Leeder noted, "Baptism is always preceded by a declaration of faith (Mark 16:16), repentance, and a changed mind regarding sin and the Savior." (Acts 2:38)

Being that baptism is preceded by a declaration of faith, how then is an infant to be baptized according to the Scriptures? Pastor Leeder further shared, "A baby who has been baptized has no capacity to know what they are doing. We need to reach a certain capacity to recognize our sin or depravity, understanding of the Gospel, and our need of a Savior. The commitment that first of all Jesus makes to us, then we make to the Lord."

Unity of Baptism

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

As we read in John 17, Jesus prayed for the unity, or a oneness with God. Baptism symbolizes this oneness with God and our Lord Jesus, and Romans 6 richly declares this fact. We become one with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection, and as we are baptized we identify with Jesus publicly before our brothers, sisters and all who observe. We say Jesus died for our sins, and in turn we die to our sin and ourselves, we are buried with Christ and we are resurrected with the promise of eternal life.

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Romans 6:3-5

Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:12

Jesus' Example

It's nice to have friends to help come and help celebrate
It's nice to have friends to help come and help celebrate

I am sure we can all agree that we should follow the example of our Lord Jesus in baptism just as we follow Him in all areas of life.

The Rock offers baptism four times a year, as a public statement of the beginning of service in your walk with God. Our Lord does not give us the option of being disobedient in any area of our lives, and baptism is as much a command as "Do not commit adultery… bear false witness… murder." A command from Jesus is absolute and non negotiable.

If you have been saved by our Lord Jesus and have not yet been baptized, come experience the joy of obeying God's command at The Plunge in Mission Beach Friday, April 30 from 6 - 7 PM. If you have already been baptized, come support your brothers and sisters in Christ who are ready to fully commit their lives to God's will.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. Matthew 3:13-15