Written Word

Why Be Baptised? – Part 1

Churches have different teachings about baptism. Some churches sprinkle, others pour water on the forehead of the candidate’s head and others practise immersion. Some understand baptism as freeing the candidate from original sin, others believe that baptism regenerates the candidate, some require baptism before becoming part of that denomination and others see baptism as the believer responding in faith to the sacrifice Jesus offered for the forgiveness of sins.

The mode of baptism and its divinely appointed purpose was not in dispute in the early church. Wherever the gospel was preached and people believed the message, they were immediately baptised. That is the clear testimony of God’s Word. There was no dispute. The various teachings surrounding baptism today are post-apostolic. And only a return to the Word of God will tell us what the Holy Spirit has revealed regarding baptism.

Jesus Alone is the Saviour

Before advancing further in our study, we need to declare that Jesus alone is the Saviour. His death upon the cross atoned for our sins by satisfying the holy justice of God. And, on the basis of that perfect sacrifice, God is declared to be just and can now freely forgive us because his Lamb has taken away our sins. (Romans 3:24-26)

The power to save us from our sins does not reside in our response to the message of the cross. We are not saved by what we do; not even our obedience has the power to save us. We are saved by what Jesus did for us. He is the Saviour, not us. Futile attempts have been made by man to save himself. But good works, fervent prayer, charitable deeds and increased zeal for God cannot forgive our sins. Our performance of religious works, irrespective of how honourable and noble those efforts are, cannot secure our pardon. We cannot depend upon ourselves; our dependence must be upon Jesus and him crucified. The Bible tells us that we are lost and need to found. We are dead in our sins and need a new life. We are separated from God and need to be reconciled. We are guilty of sin and need forgiveness. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who can do that.

The Company that Baptism Keeps

Baptism is a faith response to God’s free and gracious offer of forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. The importance of baptism is seen when we see the company it keeps.

  • Baptism brings us into a relationship with the Trinity. (Matthew 28:19)
  • Baptism is linked to our salvation. (Mark 16:16)
  • Baptism is linked with forgiveness. (Acts 2:38)
  • Baptism is linked with the washing away of our sins. (Acts 22:16)
  • Baptism is linked with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:1-6)
  • Baptism is “into Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
  • Baptism is spoken of as being “clothed with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
  • Baptism is linked with faith in Jesus for forgiveness. (Colossians 2:12-13)
  • Baptism is linked with regeneration or the new birth. (Titus 3:4-7; John 3:3-5)
  • Baptism is said to save us. (1 Peter 3:21)