I noticed that there are many who accepted Jesus but did not get baptized, so I want to talk to you about baptism. Accepting Jesus and baptism is not two but one activity. Jesus said that ‘no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.’ (John 3:5) Apostles baptized people when they accepted Jesus as their savior. (Act 2:41)
Accepting Jesus means accepting Jesus as the Lord and savior. Therefore, accepting Jesus not only means salvation, but also repenting the old way of life and making a decision to live according to the way of Jesus. Baptism where a person is laid down in the water then rises up best describes this dedication. ‘I who used to live in sin is dead and buried with Jesus and now I am born again to live a new life.’ (Romans 6:3)
That is why some who accepted Jesus but would not be baptized is totally illogical. During the Jesus Recieveing meeting, however, I allowed some people’s request to postpone baptism. The reason was some come to the meeting due to encouragement from others, so it was to give them more time until they gain conviction. In that case, it is right to have the conviction within a month or two. If the person refuses to be baptized for over a year, it is unclear whether he/she is truly saved.
Some feel that being baptized is a betrayal to parents who arranged a christening or sprinkling ceremony for them when they are little. Nothing is further from the truth. Christening or sprinkling was a simplified format of baptism. Bible teaches baptism is to confess one’s faith as a grown up according to one’s faith. Therefore, regardless of denomination or sects, baptism is according to the bible and completion of the parent’s intention and not a betrayal.
Not only this, baptism symbolizes many meanings of faith. By its symbolic demonstration of death and resurrection, baptism best expresses a personal will of union with Jesus and decision to live with Him. Baptism expresses one’s dedication to holiness by dying to the sinful nature in daily life. Baptism also expresses that this life is not the end of existence but confirms one’s faith in resurrection from death and everlasting life afterwords.
More than anything, baptism expresses that the church is one and one body. Emersion during baptism signifies that one is immersed in the church just like he is immersed in water, loves the church which is the body of Christ and will serve and cherish the church. By being baptized, he declares his will to do all this.
In addition, the first step of faith is obedience. Through obedience, we get to experience God. Delaying baptism for whatever reason becomes disobedience and adversely affects one’s growth in faith. I urge anyone who postponed baptism due to some misunderstanding to be baptized with a cheerful heart and complete his confession of faith and experience the joy which comes from God.
No Comments to "THE BIBLICAL MEANING OF BAPTISM"