When Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptised, John forbade him saying "I have need to be baptised by you and yet you come to me". Jesus said to him "Suffer it to be so for now for it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:14-15). If Jesus saw it as necessary to be baptised to fulfill all righteousness then so should we. Who should be baptised then?
Jesus commanded the disciples to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised shall be saved, but he who does not believe is damned" (Mark 16:15-16). Therefore every believer should be baptised. When should they be baptised? When Philip was speaking to the Ethiopian, the man said "See here is water, what hinders me from being baptised ?". Philip said "If you believe with all your heart, you may". And the man replied "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37). So Philip baptised him. Therefore believers should be baptised only after they believe.
Why baptism?" Don't you know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ were baptised into his death. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised up by the glory of the Father, we too shall walk in newness of life" (Rom 6:3-4). When we accepted Christ as our Lord and saviour, we received a new life through the Spirit. In baptism we "bury" our old life with Jesus in the grave so that the new life God has given to us can grow perfect and pure.
How much water do you need?Enough to bury you in. In the days of Noah, God saved 8 people from destruction by water, "in the same way baptism also saves us, not by washing our bodies clean, but as a call to God for a clean conscience" (1 Peter 3:21). Having accepted Jesus, repented of our sin and been baptised we are clean from sin. We have a new start. The things that God demands of us are not without purpose.
Baptism is an enactment of the resurrection which God will use to provide a path through death for our salvation.
Entering a new covenant.Baptism is the "sign" of a new covenant between God and us. When Jesus was baptised it was a sign of the covenant between Himself and His Father that He would offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. It was a "picture" of His coming death, burial and resurrection. We are also following in the footsteps of Christ. Baptism is a sign of our "offering ourselves as living sacrifices to God" (Romans 12:1). It is a sign of our willingness to "take up our cross and follow Him" (Matthew 10:38). In baptism we are acknowledging that we understand God's path of escape through death which He has prepared for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.