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Why Were You Baptized

By Don Loftis | 10.26.16

A young man was talking to a preacher about his recent conversion.  He described his journey to faith in Christ and his recent efforts to demonstrate true repentance.  The preacher then asked, “Why were you baptized?”  He quickly responded “Because Jesus commanded it.”  There may be more that could be said, but that is the central issue.  He simply obeyed Jesus’ command recorded in Mark 16:16, “He who has believed and been baptized shall be saved.”


A closer look at the imagery of baptism offers some additional insights to this incredible event.  The immersion in water pictures our being washed of sin.  Saul of Tarsus was told to “get up and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on His name” (Acts 22:16).  On Pentecost, Peter preached that baptism was “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).  In I Peter 3:21 he affirmed that the water of baptism does not wash the skin but removes sin, resulting in a good conscience.


Secondly, the “rising up from the water” pictures a new birth.  Indeed, Jesus talked to Nicodemus about being born again — of the water and the Spirit (John 3:3-5).  Paul’s description of baptism in Romans 6:3-5 included the phrase “raised to walk in newness of life.”  Baptism is a beginning–not an end.


Finally, baptism is a passive act.  Dead people do not bury themselves, and before conversion, we were dead in our sins.  The power of baptism is not in the water or the “spiritual corpse” being buried in the grave of baptism.  The power is in the blood of Jesus and the scope of God’s matchless grace.  Let’s accept His offer and obey His command.



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