Wednesday August 10, 2005
God’s Command for Every Believer
In the passage known as the Great Commission, Jesus mentions discipleship, baptism, and teaching. We all agree that discipleship and teaching are essential to growing in faith; however, some Christians choose to postpone or ignore the commandment to be baptized. The will of God is that every person who receives salvation participate in this biblically mandated ritual.
Once Jesus delivered this charge to His followers, baptism was no longer optional. Scripture contains several examples of new Christians who submitted in obedience immediately after salvation. Paul and Silas instructed their jailer to receive Christ and be baptized (Acts 16:27-33); likewise, Phillip took the Ethiopian eunuch right into the water after hearing his confession of faith (Acts 8:36-38). Today many believers procrastinate because they do not perceive baptism as a command or recognize their delay as rebellion.
Too many believers today procrastinate because they do not perceive baptism as a command or recognize delay as a rebellion. The ordinance is important because it is a public confession of faith: we claim God as our Father and Jesus Christ as Savior, and we acknowledge that the Holy Spirit lives in us. The willingness to humble ourselves in this way honors God as Lord of our life. Baptism by immersion also symbolizes the transforming power of salvation: we are “buried” to demonstrate we have died to old habits; we are raised to show we now walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
Have you obeyed God’s command to undergo believer’s baptism? If not, decide today to call your pastor and arrange your public confession of faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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Come hear Dr. Stanley at The Extraordinary Life Rallies this October in