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6 Reasons for a Believer to be Baptized

6 reasons for a believer to be baptizedI believe that many a new believer in Christ has hesitated to be baptized because of a lack of understanding of what baptism really means and what purpose it serves. You might say, “Since I have already believed in Christ, isn’t that good enough? Why do I also need to be baptized? What useful purpose does it serve?”

In this post we’ll consider six reasons for a believer to be baptized that I hope will encourage you to be baptized if you haven’t already.

If you have already been baptized, I hope these six reasons will not only confirm that you’ve made the right decision, but also help you to appreciate the significance of the step you’ve taken…and give you the base to encourage other believers to do the same.

6 Reasons for a Believer to be Baptized

1. To follow Jesus in fulfilling God’s righteousness and thus enjoy God’s three-fold blessing

Matt. 3:13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. 14  But John tried to prevent Him, saying, It is I who have need of being baptized by You, and You come to me? 15  But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it for now, for it is fitting for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him. 16  And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him.

Although the Lord Jesus was eternally God (John 1:1), He became a man, sharing in our human blood and flesh (John 1:14, Heb. 2:14). As a genuine man, Jesus needed to fulfill God righteous requirement, God’s ordination for man, that is, to be baptized. To fulfill God’s righteous requirement, the man Jesus was baptized. We should also.

Such a perfect, sinless man as the Lord Jesus chose to be baptized, to enter into the death waters of baptism to terminate His natural life. Then He rose up from the waters of baptism to live and serve in resurrection life (even before His actual crucifixion for our redemption). If such a perfect God-man as Jesus needed to be baptized to terminate His natural life that He might serve God acceptably, how much more do we?

As the issue of His baptism, Jesus enjoyed a three-fold blessing: an open heaven, the descending and abiding Spirit, and the Father’s speaking. Our proper experience of baptism will bring us the same.

2. To be immersed into all that the Triune God is

Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).

To be baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is to immerse God’s repenting people into the reality of all that the Triune God is. This is so that we may live in the reality of kingdom of the heavens on the earth today.

By being immersed into such a spiritual and mystical union with the Triune God we are brought into the realm where we can live on earth today a life that’s in the reality of the kingdom of the heavens.

3. To fulfill the second part of the initial step to enter into God’s complete salvation

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned (Mark 16:16).

“Believes” is only the first half or leg of this step and “baptized” is the second half or leg to complete the step. We should not have one foot in the kingdom of God and the other in the kingdom of Satan.

(Just to clarify, salvation in the Bible is not just a matter of being spared from eternal perdition, of being saved from going to hell, to be saved from the lake of fire.)

Yes, to be spared from God’s condemnation, believing in Christ is sufficient (Mark 16:16b). But to “be saved from this crooked generation, the God-forsaking world, baptism is also needed (Acts 2:40-41).

This is like the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt. They needed not only the Passover to deliver them from God’s death judgment executed on Egypt. Their applying the blood of the lamb to their doorposts, satisfied God’s righteous requirement. However, they still needed to make an exodus from Egypt, signifying the world that opposes God and enslaved His people. Then they had to cross the Red Sea signifying baptism in order to be separated from the tyranny of Pharaoh, so that they might be free to serve the Lord (Exodus 8:1).

4. To grow together with Christ in His death and resurrection

Rom. 6:3  Or are you ignorant that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4  We have been buried therefore with Him through baptism into His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in newness of life. 5  For if we have grown together with Him in the likeness of His death, indeed we will also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

In baptism we grow together with Christ in the likeness of His death, (Rom. 6:3-5) and we are also raised with Him to walk in the newness of life, that is, to grow together with Him in the likeness of His resurrection. This is the way for us to live the Christian life, joined to Christ, to be a new person in His resurrection life.

How wonderful that through baptism we’re  not only delivered from the power of Satan but we enter into an organic union with Christ. By believing into Christ (John 1:12; 3:16) and being baptized into Him (Rom. 6:3-5) we grow together with Him.

It’s a kind of grafting (11:24) that causes us to partake of all the riches of Christ’s life. It is in this organic union with Christ that we are joined to Him as one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). In this way all that He has accomplished becomes ours. His history becomes our history. His victory becomes our victory.

5. To enter into the one organic entity, the Body of Christ

For also in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body, whether Jews or Greeks…” (1 Cor. 12:13a)

Such a baptism is not sectarian. It’s not a baptism you into a certain religious affiliation. Rather it is an immersing into the unique Body of Christ, of which the Spirit is the reality.

Not only does a proper baptism complete the spiritual organic union that you began at the time you received Christ. It makes you an organic part of a divine organism, the Body of Christ. Christ is the Head and we become the members of His Body.

6. To be positioned to drink the one Spirit

…and were all given to drink one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13b).

Such a drinking of the Spirit is so simple once we have experienced a proper baptism. The Spirit becomes so available for us to drink all the time.

When we get baptized, it is very helpful to call on the Lord, “Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus!” Since no one can say “Lord Jesus” or “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3), our proper calling, causes our baptism to be not only something in water (as the outward visible sign as in Acts 8:36) but also in the Spirit as the inward reality  (Mark 1:8).

Then we should simply continue drinking the Spirit, moment by moment, by calling on the name of the Lord so that He can be rich to us (Rom. 10:12).

Summary of 6 Reasons for a believer to be baptized

A proper, genuine and living experience of baptism:

1) Fulfills God’s righteous requirement for all people (Matt. 3:13-16).

2) Puts us into the name, the reality of the Triune God (Matt. 28:19).

3) Puts us into Christ (Gal. 3:27).

4) Puts us into the death of Christ, so that we have an organic union with Him (Rom. 6:3-5).

5) Puts us into a living organism, the Body of Christ,  (1 Cor. 12:13), so that we are positioned to continually receive His Spirit by our continual drinking.

In this way, baptism becomes not just a one-time event, but a continual reality that we should enjoy in our organic union with Christ and His Body until we meet the Lord.

If you have been touched by any of the points presented in this post I hope you’ll take a moment to confirm the post with a brief comment.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

9 Replies

  1. Amen, brother – we NEED to be baptized! I love this long review of the main reasons for which we have to get baptized. But that’s right, baptism is NOT a one-time event, but a reality in which we live today! Daily we learn to put to death our flesh and our self, and put on Christ – let Christ live in us! Lord, amen, keep us in the reality of our baptism until the day we meet You!

    1. Stefan,

      I appreciate all your encouraging comments. I hope that many new believers would not delay their baptism but be bold to be baptized. Such a strong step propels us forward in the experience of God’s salvation. I especially would like to impress newly baptized believers with their being grafted into Christ and the wonderful organic union we have with the Lord. What a provision to live the Christian life! This union also makes us an organic member of the Body of Christ.

      It was so good to meet you in the Netherlands. Hope to see you again in the coming days.

      Tom

  2. Thanks for this thorough and enlightening post! It’s awesome to see so many experiential reasons for being baptized. I think a lot of Christians (myself included before reading this post) would give very dry answers to the question “why be baptized”. Thanks!

  3. Sharon

    Your website really helped me understand the deeper level of baptism. I am being baptized this weekend I’m so excited thank you.

  4. Patrick

    Going through the importance of being baptized with 3 of our children. They each understand its a personal decision and it’s a huge blessing to have them doing this together!! We are going through this as a family and are enjoying seeing the importance of why we are to be baptized. My 8 year old son said, dad Jesus told us we should get baptized so i should obey HIM. Lol very wise little guy.

    1. Tom Smith

      Patrick, it is very precious to see children come to personal sense of their need to be baptized. Like your son, we all need such childlike simplicity to say, “Jesus told us we should get baptized so I should obey HIM.” Thanks for such a touching response.

  5. Tom Smith

    From Alison’s comment, I was inspired to mention that our entry into God’s salvation includes two parts. In Mark 16:16 it says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned.” Although, according to this verse, believing saves us from God’s eternal judgement, there is more to salvation than that. Our salvation is not just from perdition, but from the kingdom of Satan.

    When we believe, we take one foot out of Satan’s kingdom and put it into the kingdom of God. But, without baptism, we have not completed the full step. Satan still has some grip on us and a way to keep us under his tyranny in this evil age.

    This can be illustrated by the children of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. First, the Passover (signifying Christ’s redemption) saved them from God’s death judgment(the second death, the lake of fire). But they still needed to make their exodus from Egypt and cross the Red Sea (signifying the waters of baptism) to be delivered from the tyranny of Pharaoh (signifying Satan, the ruler of this world.)

    May we take the complete step and enter fully into the kingdom of God!

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