Earlier in the month, Wigmore Free Church was blessed to witness the baptism of two young men in the church, Caleb Rodrigues and Jonathan Wood. Both delivered powerful testimonies, (which can be found on the Testimonies page of this website), and they then experienced the moving act of being baptised. However, a lot of people don’t quite understand the concept of baptism and why, as Christians, we feel compelled to pass through the waters of baptism.
So, what’s the point in baptism?
There are numerous reasons why Christian baptism is important but, in this post, we’re only going to run over a few.
First of all, Baptism is important in the Christian life as it was commanded by Jesus. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded to you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28 v19-20).
As Christians, we should strive to obey, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. One of the most powerful things of baptism is the thought of following in the footsteps of the one who died for you, Jesus, who was also baptised (Matthew 3 v 13-17).
Another reason for the importance of baptism is it is an act of public declaration. It becomes an external profession of an internal change in a person. Matthew chapter 10 verse 32-33 tells us that, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
This is why at Wigmore, and many other churches, most of those who pass through the waters of baptism, also deliver a testimony shortly before. A testimony is the story of someone’s life and how God intervened in their life and saved them.
We believe it is important to tell others of our testimony and to be unashamed of the Word of God because “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory” (Mark 8 v 38).
Baptism is also symbolic. The act of going under the water represents the death of our former, sinful self, and coming up out of the water represents the resurrection, becoming a new person in Christ Jesus.
So when should a believer be baptised?
If you are a new believer in Christ then you should have a desire to be baptised as soon as possible, like the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8). The Ethiopian eunuch received the Holy Spirit sitting in his chariot and when approaching some water he said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptised?” (Acts 8 v 36).
So, if you have truly received the Holy Spirit like the Ethiopian eunuch, what’s stopping you from being baptised?