The last few months have been exciting for our congregation: five people have been immersed into Christ (see Rom 6:3)! Though baptism is not a subject most people get excited about, the Bible’s discussion of immersion is truly joyful!
Consider the example of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). Not only did he find baptism essential for his response to the “good news about Jesus” (v. 35) but when the Spirit whisked Philip away to another work, the eunuch “went on his way rejoicing” (v. 39 ESV). He understood the importance of what had just happened and rejoiced in the blessings he now had in Christ. Look briefly at what the New Testament says we are doing in baptism:
Baptism, though, is not primarily about what we do. As the above passages imply, it is about trusting in what God has done and will do for each of us through his Son. It is about believing and accepting his will for our lives, which he has revealed to us through the good news of his written word. Note what the Bible says God does through baptism:
Biblical baptism is neither “salvation by works” nor “baptismal regeneration.” It’s not about what you are doing and it’s not about the water; it’s about Jesus Christ and the death he died for you. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9). The question now is whether you have allowed the Lord to do for you what he can, or whether you’ve denied the very means by which he does it.
I rejoice for all my new brothers and sisters in Christ, knowing the joy and love they feel for the Lord who saves us, but I also mourn for those who are yet to make this same step in obedient faith. Friends, remember the example of our Lord and follow him. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:8-9).