Last week I shared reasons 10-6 of my list of 10 reasons why people should not be baptized. Obviously my hope is that this rather sarcastic look at this topic will actually convince folks of the importance ofbeing baptized. This week I offer reasons 5-1.
Reason 5– Baptism doesn’t make sense to me.
Wouldn’t it be funny if we had a ceremony where all of the participants wore multicolored puffy gowns and flat topped hats with tassels hanging in their eyes? That sounds a little nutty until you realize that every year thousands or even millions of graduates across the country do exactly that. It doesn’t make sense, but we do it anyway. Technically the schools could send the diplomas to the graduates in the mail, so why all the fuss? Graduation celebrates or publicly declares an achievement and rite of passage.
Baptism is a public declaration of a person’s relationship with Christ. It is a sign of belonging to Christ. And just as graduation isn’t your education but a symbol of it. Baptism symbolizes that you have entered a relationship with God by faith in Christ. Baptism is also an identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. The Apostle Paul clearly states that connection in Romans 6:4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. The Greek word for baptism literally means to immerse or dip in under. So Baptism symbolizes death (going under water) and resurrection to new life (coming out of the water).
Reason 4– I was baptized as an infant.
Infant baptism is closely connected with family and faith traditions. It is a very complicated issue on various levels. God’s word doesn’t speak of infant baptism, rather it speaks of the baptism of households that might have included children. Baptism is a personal, volitional act. Infant baptism focuses on the act and the family, not necessarily the faith that led to that act.
The Apostle Paul argues that a relationship with Christ is not from physical descent or through ritual acts but through faith. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27
In some cultures parents arrange marriages for their children. There is no individual choice. Infant baptism is a nice ceremony and a nice rite of passage, but it is chosen for the person by the family. A person’s relationship with God is by faith. Believer’s baptism accompanies that.
Reason 3– I don’t want to do it until I feel like it.
Feelings are important or we would all be robotic in our lives. But feelings aren’t always a reliable determiner of our conduct. Discipleship goes beyond feelings to obedience. So when we are baptized, it should be for the right reason, but we may also need to have your comfort zones stretched in response to the love of God.
In Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Reason 2– I look funny when I’m wet.
Yes you do. We all do. But when we are truly identified with Christ. What difference does that truly make?
Reason 1– There is no good reason.
In Acts 8 we read the story of an Angel sending Philip out into the desert to minister to a man identified as the Ethiopian eunuch. Philip led this man into a relationship with Christ. Let’s join the story: As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Acts 8:36-38
Why shouldn’t you be baptized?