Like many tenets of the Christian faith, baptism is loaded with rich, deep meaning that could never truly be exhausted by the ever growing and maturing Christian. Yet, I'm hopeful these five biblical facts about baptism will provide a resounding "yes" to the question: Should I be baptized into Christ?
Recorded in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22, Jesus - the one whom Christians are to pattern their lives after - was baptized. Jesus was baptized. You should be, too.
Not only was Jesus baptized, so were His followers. John 4:1-2; John 13:10; Acts 19:1-5 are among many New Testament passages that show that followers of Jesus were baptized.
The aforementioned considerations for being baptized fall into the 'example' category. A much more serious category of consideration is that of doctrine (teaching) and command. Prayerfully and sincerely consider these passages which teach others to be baptized. Acts 2:33-38; 8:9-13; 8:34-38; 10:47-48; 16:15; 19:1-6; 22:16. Baptism in the New Testament was not an "outward expression..." or a "local church membership procedure." Baptism was commanded to believers as an act of obedience.
Perhaps the most significant consideration for being baptized is understanding its purpose - which is made abundantly clear in the New Testament. Acts 2:38 explicitly teaches that baptism is for the forgivenss of sins AND the receival of the gift (indwelling) of the Holy Spirit. This purpose is repeated in Romans 6:1-7 "dying to sin" Acts 22:16 "washing away sin" and 1 Peter 3:21-22 "baptism, that now saves you... by the resurrection of Jesus." When considering baptism, we abosolutely must consider why someone is to be baptized. According to Scripture, the reason to be baptized is for the forgiveness of sins. And so it follows that since all have sinned (Romans 3:23), all need to be baptized.
If you've read this far, you may be questioning whether or not I'm suggesting that baptism is a work in addition to being saved by grace through faith - Scripture's crystal clear teaching on salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). If baptism is such a work, we should disregard it. But according to Scripture baptism is not a work - at least not a work of man. Consider Colossains 2:11-12.
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
One of the reasons we can unequivocally say that baptism is necessary for all believers is because the New Testament makes it clear that baptism is NOT a work of human hands. It is an act of faith which we are commanded to obey. It is an act of faith which calls upon the power and working of God.
And so, having considering these five facts about baptism, I'll leave you with the question that Ananias asked Paul in Acts 22:16:
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’