“Baptism separates the tire kicker from the car buyers.” – Max Lucado
What’s the big deal with baptism if it doesn’t save us?
Scripture is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not of works or any ritual (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but it is necessary for obeying Jesus and loving him (Matthew 28:18-20, John 14:15)
The moment we receive Jesus Christ by faith, the Spirit of God baptizes us into the body of Christ. That’s baptism of the Spirit. Water baptism symbolizes the child of God’s spiritual baptism into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” – Romans 6:4-7
Baptism by immersion identifies us with Jesus. It’s s not an optional or secondary doctrine for us to choose or decline, though many Christians have treated it as such. That’s why, I’m convinced, that many Christians live defeated lives “mastered by sin” (Romans 6:14)—because they’ve chosen not to obey God in this important command.
“Baptism is God’s divine object lesson teaching us the vital truth that when he died I died, when he was buried I was buried, and when he came up out of the grave I came up out of the grave.” – Adrian Rogers
By setting this command aside, we reject one of the most essential object lessons of God—our identity with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, which affirms sin no longer is our master (Romans 6:14)!
“Those who accepted his message were baptized.” (Acts 2:41) What about you?