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The Great Commission-Part III
7/3/2009

The Great Commission-Part III
Baptism by Water

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

In Part II of this devotional we looked at what a person must do to be baptized, and we looked at what the word baptize means.  In today's devotional well continue to look at Gods commandment of water baptism, as we look at the reasons why we should be baptized, as well as some misconceptions about baptism.

There are 3-reasons we are to be baptized:

1.    We are to be baptized out of obedience:  We see throughout the New Testament that water baptism was practiced immediately following conversion.  This was done in direct response to Jesus command that Christians are to "Preach" and then they are to "Baptize" (Mk 16:15, 16).  So if you have believed in Christ as Lord and Savior, then in obedience you should be baptized.

2.    We are to be baptized as a "Statement of Faith:"  Water baptism is an outward statement of ones belief in Christ Jesus atonement for our sins. The act of going under water during baptism, symbolizes being buried in death.  It is a symbol of our dying to our old life and resurrecting in our new life (See Romans 6:1-4).  It demonstrates an outward sign of an inward change


3.    We are to be baptized as a "Public Testimony:"  Water baptism was practiced publicly in the New Testament as an example.  Because it is a very powerful and meaningful way to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. .  We see water baptism as a public testimony of our faith in Christ.

After all, Jesus said:

 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 10:32 (NKJV)

I want to share four misconceptions about water baptism.

1.    Water baptism cannot save anyone:  Salvation comes from Grace alone, and that through faith; not of works lest anyone boast (See Eph 2:8, 9). Our Lord was telling us that we are in need of only one release from the bondage of sin and that this release or "redemption" was provided by His death in our place and appropriated by us through our faith in Him (Col.2:13-14). Since baptism is only for believers who profess faith in Christ, it would exclude infants since they cant make their own profession.


2.    Our sins are not washed away through water baptism.  Water baptism cannot cleanse us from our sins: The cleansing of our sin takes place when we believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and ask Him to forgive us and cleanse us of our sin (See 1John 1:9). This is the "bath" or cleansing from sin, which has already been accomplished and it does not need to be repeated. We do, however, continue to commit acts of personal sin as believers, and when we do, we are in need of the forgiveness and restoration, which comes to us when we confess our sins to God. We need to be washed from sin only once. We need to be cleansed of our sins as often as we commit them.

3.    You must be baptized into a specific denomination to be saved. There is no one church organization that you need to be baptized into; we are all baptized into the Body of Christ when we are baptized. If the church you attend believes in Christ for salvation, is faithful to the scriptures and the truth of the gospel, then baptism is right before God. If the group denies the truth of the gospel and salvation by faith through grace, demands that baptism be done only through them, then you should choose to be baptized with another group of believers.


4.    Water baptism cannot set us free from our sinful fleshly habits.  When we are saved, we are given the Holy Spirit as a helper.  With Him, come the benefits of self-control, holiness and moral purity to name a few.  It is the Holy Spirit that changes us as He leads us and empowers us to understand and abide in the Word of God.  As we are baptized, we are making a public statement that we are going to live free from any controlling passion that led us out of the will of God.  We must understand that baptism by itself possesses no magical power to free us from the temptations we will face in the flesh.  It simply is telling others that you are willing submitting your life to the Lord and that you are coming into agreement with His plan for your life.


Hey Christian, it is clear from the teachings of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20 that we are to be baptized.  The fact that God Himself commanded it should settle in your heart any reason to not be baptized.  It might not mean the difference between living eternally or not, but you can bet that by not being baptized, you are not in the will of God, and that is sin.  

Don't let legalism tell you that you have to be baptized into a religion, because you don't.  But if you believe that Jesus is God, and that He is the Lord of your life; if you believe that He has died to pay for your sin, and He has risen to be your Lord and Savior, then get baptized because you are a part of His family, and you want to identify with that publicly.  It will help you to walk in accordance with His will, and it will open up the fountain of blessings that He wants to shower you with.

STUDY QUESTION: What are some of the misconceptions about water baptism covered in this devotional?  What do the scriptures tell us about these misconceptions?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you fully understand the reasons as to why we should be baptized publicly?

APPLICATION: Get baptized!  If you are already baptized, then share this information with others that you may know who are not baptized, or who may be blessed by knowing the Great Commission.

Father, I thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for the truths that are clearly seen and learned from studying it daily.  Lord, continue to lead me into all truth and understanding of Your Word as I continue to read and study it.  Lead me in all knowledge and wisdom, and help me to apply it to my life.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000