Dear Church Family,
We have been examining Jesus’ vision for the church found in the Great Commission. Today we are focusing on baptism!
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go thereforeand make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV emphasis mine)
The Bible has a lot to say about baptism. Baptism is a sign of our faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, and it is God’s seal on us. The sign is water which symbolizes the washing away of one’s guilt for sin. The seal is the Holy Spirit who baptizes spiritually. These do not happen at the same time, nor does water baptism cause the Holy Spirit to baptize one spiritually. Jesus taught us in John 3 that in order to be saved, we must be born again. So we water baptize those who have made a public profession of faith and are joining the church, which is Christ’s visible kingdom on earth. We also water baptize the children of believers trusting through our faithful preaching and teaching of the gospel, they too will believe and be sealed by the Holy Spirit and born again.
When we go out to make disciples, we are to call them to make a public profession of their faith in Jesus and submit themselves to water baptism by faith in Christ alone.