As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. —Matthew 3:16
As a new teenage believer, I wanted so much to be among fellow believers and to grow in my understanding of Jesus Christ. But when I sought permission to attend a church service, Mum said: “You can go to church, but you cannot be baptised!” Despite being of a different faith, my mum understood the significance of baptism as an outward declaration of a commitment to follow Jesus.
Today, however, some Christians choose not to be baptised, saying: “Why is there a need to be baptised? Isn’t it enough to believe in Jesus?”
Jesus was sinless and therefore did not need to be baptised to show His repentance from sin. Yet He humbly chose to do so, “to fulfil all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
Our Lord is our example of what it means to be obedient to our loving Father’s will. God, who created us, knows only too well how easily His children can wander away from following Him. So, He gives us baptism to help us remember our declaration of commitment to follow Jesus. Baptism also enjoins our church family to journey with us as we seek to be faithful to God together (1 Corinthians 12:13).
Not only is baptism an act of obedience, but it also gives us an opportunity to declare our gratitude for the grace of Christ. We can tell others: “I’ve been changed since Jesus came into my life.”