We have a baptism and baby dedication service coming up on February 1. It’s a service to celebration and public commitment to the things God wants in our lives. Sometimes people ask me, Pastor Dave, and probably other people, “Why should I be baptized?” It could just be answered as simply as, “Well, the Bible says we should,” because that is true. But I would rather tell you why I got baptized, which includes some of what the Bible says.
I got baptized a long time ago. I had already placed my faith in Jesus, so according to Romans 10:9-13, I was already saved. Baptism didn’t make me more saved, and choosing not to get baptized wouldn’t have made me less saved or not saved, though it would have made me less obedient to God. The first reason I wanted to be baptized: I wanted to obey God, because I love Him. John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” The last thing Jesus said before ascending into Heaven was “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,” (Matthew 28:19-20). It was His instruction that people be baptized after coming to believe in Him. I didn’t want to begin my relationship with God by choosing to disobey Him. It didn’t speak to the love and gratefulness I have for Him. It didn’t make sense to me to say, “I love you, but I’m not going to do what you ask,” which is exactly how I saw/see it.
The second reason I got baptized was because I wanted to publicly show that I loved God. Jesus says in Matthew 10:32 that if anyone acknowledges Him before men would be acknowledged by Him before the Father. I wanted to publicly acknowledge Him with my being baptized. I wanted others to see that I love Him and was committed to following Him. It’s similar to my wedding and ring. I love Sarah, and I loved her before I told anyone else I loved her. She knew I loved her, and no one else needed to know that for it to be true. People were at my wedding, though. I publicly declared my love and commitment to Sarah before God and witnesses, as the script goes, and I was proud to do so. I wear my wedding ring everyday, not to make me married, but as a visible symbol to everyone else that I am married. Baptism can be much the same way. I love God, and He knows I love Him, but I wanted to publicly declare my love for Him. I wanted a visible symbol to others of the relationship I have with Him.
That’s it. I wasn’t baptized because I had to. My parents allowed me to choose. I didn’t get baptized, so I could be a member of the church, because as a child, I didn’t care about that, anyway. I just love God, wanted to obey Him, and wanted others to know that I love Him. I don’t need more compelling reasons than that, because there are no reasons more compelling than that for me.