Baptism is an essential step on the path of Christian discipleship. It is not essential for salvation, but is essential for obedience.
Who should be baptised?
- Those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. The Bible calls these people ‘Believers’.
- There is no evidence in the New Testament of anyone who is not a believer being baptised.
Why should I be baptised?
- The Lord Jesus was baptised.
- The Lord Jesus commanded it.
- The apostles taught and practiced it.
- Baptism is a witness to the world. It is an outward demonstration of an inward experience.
- There is great joy in obeying the Lord Jesus and so baptism brings great joy to the person being baptised.
How should we be baptised?
- The Greek word ‘baptizo’ from which we derive the English word baptism, means ‘to dip under’. So to baptize someone is to place that person under the water.
- Baptism teaches us a great truth – In baptism the believer is identified with the Lord Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection. Physically the believer has not experienced these events, but in God’s eyes they are spiritually identified with these three great events.
- Baptism tells us that by going under the water we are dead and buried with the Lord Jesus Christ and in rising from the water we share in His resurrection.
When should I be baptised?
- As soon as you know that this is the next step in Christian discipleship.
- The Bible gives no instruction regarding the timeframe. But by example it gives us the principle that the time between trusting in the Lord Jesus and baptism should be as short as possible.
- Baptism should not be consciously postponed; it should be quickly performed.
- God’s time for Salvation is ‘NOW’. If you are a believer, God’s time for baptism is ‘NOW’.
What follows after baptism?
- There is a change of behaviour. The person who has been baptised behaves differently. Their life is one of learning, service and fellowship in the local church. They continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
- The New Testament teaches that everything the early Christians needed for their spiritual lives was available in the local Church. Our spiritual growth is not an isolated exercise; it is done in fellowship with God’s people in the local Church.
- As soon as possible after baptism, become integrated with the local Church. Meet for prayer, instruction and to remember the Lord Jesus in His death. This will help us to become strong and active Christians.
- Baptism is not the end of your Christian discipleship – It’s only the first step.