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Is Baptism Important?

Is baptism important? This is an issue that will provoke a number of answers from the denominational world. But is what men say really all that important? Isn't God's word far more authoritative and final?

Let's try this…let's see what God's word says about what baptism really does, and then we can decide for ourselves the real importance of baptism.

BECOMING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20, RSV.

“and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.” Acts 11:26, RSV.

SINS WASHED AWAY

“And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38, RSV.

“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'” Acts 22:16, RSV.

PUT INTO CHRIST

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27, RSV.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 1:3, RSV.

RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38, RSV.

ARE BORN AGAIN

“Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” John 3:5, RSV.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3, NAS95.

"for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God." 1 Peter 1:23, NAS95.

"he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5, NIV.

BECOME PART OF GOD’S FAMILY

“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, ‘Be saved…’ So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. … And the Lord was adding to their number [the church, God’s family] day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:40-47, NAS95.

DYING TO SELF, LIVING TO THE LORD

“…Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.” Romans 6:1-6, RSV.

SAVED

“Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 3:21, RSV.

So…

“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.'” Acts 22:16, RSV.

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