Read Acts 2:37-47
The events you read about in the Bible took place in late May or early June around 30 a.d. Meanwhile, I am writing these lines on Sunday, August 25, 2019. But today and that day nearly two millennia ago have something in common. That “something” is baptism.
That’s right . . . churches like ours still practice this symbolic act of baptism. We still invite boys and girls and grown men and women to enter into water where they are publicly immersed. But this local church practice is not just some tradition that local churches have tenaciously maintained. It is more than the vestiges of sentimental days gone by . . . vestiges that the unstoppable church holds to because we have “always done this.” No, the roots of baptism’s value run much deeper than mere tradition.
Let’s look again at what Jesus said:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
Baptism is for Christ followers. Those who were becoming disciples of Jesus were to be baptized. It is no surprise, then, that we read in Acts 2:41 “Those who accepted his [Peter’s] message [the gospel about Christ] were baptized . . .”
Baptism is for Christ followers in every location. Regardless of geography, Jesus followers from “all nations” were to be baptized. It is just as important in Wooster, Ohio as it was in Jerusalem.
Baptism is for Christ followers throughout the church age. The reassurance of Christ’s presence with us until the time of His physical return also points to the ongoing nature of His command. Baptism is just as important in 2019 as it was in 30 a.d.
Baptism is a means of identification with the triune God. As a person is baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, he/she is publicly affirming his/her reliance on God for salvation and commitment to God’s purposes. That public affirmation is just as valid here and now as then and there.
Is baptism an important next step for you? Why not pick up an application at the church?