Why be baptised?
We are not saved by baptism and so the question could be asked “Why be baptised?”. There are several reasons:
First, as a means of identifying who Jesus is and who we are. We identify Jesus as the one who died and rose again by our baptism. In Mark (3:13-17), Jesus’ baptism identified who he was to John. We also identify ourselves as his followers and our unity with him in his death and resurrection by being baptised. (Romans 6:5)
Second, as a way of helping others. Jesus expected that people would be baptised and therefore commanded that we baptise disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). By being willing to be baptised we give opportunity to others to be obedient to Jesus’ command.
While there is no specific command to be baptised it is obvious that Jesus expected disciples to be baptised. So a third reason to be baptised is to fulfil Jesus’ expectations.
Fourth, as an act of love towards our Saviour. Jesus didn’t need to be baptised but chose to go down into the water. It’s possible that he did it as a way of saying, “I am willing to unite with believers and this will be my outward symbol to them of my decision to unite with them in my death and resurrection.” It’s the other side of Romans 6:5. We can only unite with Christ if he is willing to unite with us. So maybe our baptism is an act of love to join Jesus in the water.
Last and simply, because we believe. In the New Testament whenever anyone believes, they are baptised. They go hand in hand. It’s as if you can’t have one without the other. Have a look at Acts 8 for an example. It’s the natural next step after we believe.
So why be baptised? To identify who Jesus is and identify yourself as his follower, to help others be obedient, to fulfil Jesus’ expectations, as an act of love and simply because you believe.
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