Why Be Baptized?

Introduction. The Bible teaches that all who put their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God hoping for salvation from sins and eternal life with God in the age to come should be immersed in water for the remission of sins. This morning I would like for us to consider together what the Bible teaches us about why a person should be baptized.

I. To Obey the Lord’s Commands
          I John 5:3 tells us -
          “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments”

          John 15:14 goes further with Jesus saying -
          “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you.”

          Finally, John 15:10 declares -
          “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.”

  1. Jesus Commanded Baptism (Matthew 28:16-20).
  2. The Apostles Commanded (Acts 10:1-6; 30-33; 44-48).

II. To Be Forgiven of Sins.

  1. Peter’s Sermon on Pentecost (Acts 2:36-39). The word in the Greek translated “remission” is the word aphesis. The King James version renders this word:
              9 times - “remission”
              6 times - “forgiveness”
              1 time - “deliverance” and
              1 time - “liberty”
         Thayer tells us that it means: “1. Release, as from bondage, imprisonment, etc. 2. Forgiveness, pardon, of sins (properly the letting them go, as if they had not been committed), remission of their penalty” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, pg. 88).
         Although this is not the only thing which the Bible describes as being “for” (or in the Greek literally “into” or “unto”) the remission of sins, it clearly shows that it is a necessary part of one’s forgiveness.
  2. Paul’s Account of His Conversion (Acts 22:6-16).
    So we see that baptism is “for the remission of sins” and something which can “wash away” sins.

III. To Get Into Christ
          II Corinthians 5:17 teaches us --

“Therefore, if anyone is IN CHRIST, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new” (emphasis mine).

          Ephesians 1:13 tells us that “every spiritual blessing” is “IN CHRIST” (emphasis also mine).           Finally, Romans 8:1 promises -

“There is therefore now no condemnation
to those who are IN CHRIST Jesus, who do not walk
according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (emphasis mine again).

     We can see from these texts that being IN CHRIST is a blessed relationship indeed. This is a relationship in which one...
  • Is a new creation,
  • Has every spiritual blessing and
  • No condemnation.
But how does the Bible teach us that one gets “into” Christ?
  1. One is Baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-6).
  2. One Baptized Into Christ Puts On Christ(Galatians 3:26).
    • If baptism puts one into Christ...
    • And in Christ one has every spiritual blessing, no condemnation and is a new creation...

    If one is not baptized then: they are not a new creation; they don’t have every spiritual blessing and they do have condemnation.

IV. To Be Born of the Water & the Spirit.

  1. Jesus’ Teaching to Nicodemus (John 3:1-5).
  2. Paul’s Reference to Rebirth (Titus 3:4-7).
    If one is not baptized they have not been “born of the water and of the Spirit.”

V. To Be Saved.
     It is commonly taught that water baptism and salvation are two things which have no relationship to one another at all. This is largely due to a misunderstanding of the Biblical doctrine of faith & works. Ephesians 2:8,9 teaches, clearly that salvation is “not of works lest anyone should boast.”
     What that tells us is that we cannot atone for even a single sin that is one our account or merit salvation by our own goodness. Hebrews 9:22 proclaims - “without the shedding of blood there is no remission.”
Can we shed our own blood for our sins? No. Only Christ’s blood offers atonement for sins. But how does this blood reach us? Hebrews 5:9 proclaims that Jesus is: “...the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” Here the Holy Spirit connects obedience and salvation -- what about baptism?

  1. Jesus Connected Baptism & Salvation (Mark 16:15,16).
  2. The Apostles Connected Baptism & Salvation (I Peter 3:18-21). The NASB renders this a little closer to the Greek. It says in vs. 21 “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (i.e. it is not that someone already has a good conscience and is baptized as an answer to this. It is the request for a good conscience.)
         Thus, if a person wants to be saved they must be baptized.

VI. So the Lord Will Add One To The Church
     The Bible tells us that the church is Christ’s body (Ephesians 1:22,23). The church is made up of those who are “sanctified in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 1:2).
     The church is the kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13; Revelation 1:9). The Scriptures tell us that when the end comes Christ will deliver to God the father “the kingdom.” (I Corinthians 15:24). He is not going to deliver some human institution -- or some manmade organization that calls itself His church. He will deliver the church which He purchased with His own blood!

  1. Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:40-41,47). Those who obeyed the gospel were added by the Lord to His church.
  2. The Colossians (Colossians 1:13-14). Note: vs. 14 - “in whom” they had forgiveness of sins. How did this come to them? What had they done? Note: (Colossians 2:11-13). They were baptized.

Conclusion. In Acts 8:26-40 we learn about an Ethiopian nobleman who was taught about Jesus. The Bible doesn’t tell us the specific things he was taught, but after being taught about Jesus, he asked Philip (the man who taught him) - “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). I ask you today -- What hinders you?