Why is Baptism necessary?
Baptism is important to God. He made sure that if anyone were to believe on His Son, that they participate as the community of Believers as a family to seal that time together. Jesus gave it prominence just before he ascended - promising his return:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
God is serious about the development of his family on earth. The world will never care about his priorities, his authority or what he desires. But as disciples, we do! We love him and we take his joy and satisfaction very seriously (see "How do I know if I'm ready"). From then until now - just like a family caring for our own - baptized disciples have been baptizing and teaching disciples. And now it's our turn in Roswell.
Here's a great article by Rick Warren to summarize why baptism is so important. At the end, if you know it's time to demonstrate your faith through Believer's Baptism, don't hesitate to call or email Sean at 575-317-4658.
Healthy families have family pride; members are not ashamed to be recognized as a part of the family. Sadly, I’ve met many church members who’ve never publicly identified themselves with God’s family—by being baptized.
Baptism is not some optional ritual, to be delayed or postponed. It signifies your inclusion in God’s family. It publicly announces to the world, “I am not ashamed to be a part of God’s family.” Jesus commanded this beautiful act for all in his family:
For years I wondered why Jesus’ Great Commission gives the same prominence to baptism as it does to the great tasks of evangelism and edification.
Why is baptism so important? Because it symbolizes one of the purposes of your life: incorporation into the fellowship of God’s eternal family.
Baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and resurrection, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announces your new life in Christ. It is also a celebration of your inclusion in God’s family.
Your baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth. It represents what happened the moment God brought you into his family.
Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family; only faith in Christ does that. Baptism shows you are part of God’s family. Like a wedding ring, it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. It is an act of initiation, not something you put off until you are spiritually mature. The only biblical condition is that you believe.
If you haven’t been baptized as an expression of your faith in Christ, do so immediately, as Jesus commanded.
The Bible says, “Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn't ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11, CEV).
Let that amazing truth sink in! Because Jesus makes you holy, God is proud of you. Being included in God’s family is the highest honor, the greatest privilege you and I will ever receive. Nothing else comes close. Why not pause right now and thank God that he included you?
“Praise God for the privilege of being in Christ's family and being called by his wonderful name!” (1 Peter 4:16, LB).
NOTE: This article is reprinted from the website www.Pastors.com. Copyright 2003 by Rick Warren. Used by permission. All rights reserved. It was excerpted from Rick Warren’s New York Times Bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life.
Baptism is serious business because it represents the seriousness Jesus places our discipleship with him. He said in Mark 8:34-38
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
That's sound's pretty serious, doesn't it? But he wasn't ashamed to be publicly executed on a Roman cross for us - the least we can do is identify with him publicly in this new and beautiful way.
How do I know if I'm ready for baptism?
There are two things that should be present in your life:
That you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life.
That you have decided to live a life of repentance and faith. We believe that if we're going to be serious about following Jesus, rituals or emotionally-driven decisions should be avoided. Practically-speaking, this means:
You are ready to commit to taking your place in the local Church - specifically at Grace - prioritizing weekly worship, daily fellowship with God in prayer, and fellowship with other Believers (eg: small group).
You have made clean breaks with sin that affect your public witness, including illegal or unbiblical behavior. (eg: unrepentant intoxication or if you are living with someone or involved in a sexual relationship and are not married to them.)
Now let's get real: we're not saying "you have to be perfect" - otherwise NONE of us could be baptized! But we're saying that when one says "I'm serious about following Jesus", right actions should follow. These are simple ways to follow a life of repentance. If you have concerns or questions, please contact Sean.
Next Stop: Baptism Class! We want to make sure that you understand more about the symbolism and substance of this great gift and opportunity of obedience that God gave to us.