My daughter Aniston loves to ask my wife and I questions.
One of her favorite ones is: “Tell me ‘bout your work day!
She loves to know what Cherie and I do each day and we love to tell her. Oddly enough she really IS interested and especially when my wife talks about all the surgeries she was a part of. Talk about hard to top work days for me!
Well one day I told Aniston about my day and how I was telling people about Jesus and that I got to baptize some people too! She stopped and asked “Daddy, why do you need to give people a bath? Were they dirty?” Yep, you guessed it she thought I said “bathtize” not baptize.
I LOVE my little girl.
I believe many Christians struggle with the idea of why they need to be baptized or “bathtized”? I mean, does God REALLY need me to get in a tank of water, tell people I love Him, and then get reversed body slammed into the water and brought back up?
The simple answer is yes. God’s desire is for all believers in Christ to get baptized.
However, I do think there a few things to point out in this answer for a more complete understanding of this sacrament.
To be clear from the beginning, baptism has nothing to do with your salvation. Scripture clearly states that our salvation is found in confessed faith in Jesus Christ alone (Romans 10:9, John 3:36, 1 John 5:5, 1 John 5:11-12). However, the passage I feel that will help us the most is found in Acts 16.
Here in Acts we read that upon being arrested, beaten, and shackled in jail, Paul and Silas are left to rot in a Roman prison. Yet not even torture could break their spirit of praise and as they sat in jail they worshiped God.
That night, God sent an earthquake that rattled the jail opening all the cells giving the prisoners the chance to escape. However, Paul and Silas did not flee knowing if they did the jailer would likely kill himself. Their faithfulness paid off and as a result we read about this amazing conversion of a Roman jailer to Christ and the basis for our salvation.
“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” – Acts 16:29-31(emphasis mine).
There we have it. Simply put, salvation is found in belief in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So if the question of salvation is independent of baptism why do it? What is the point of taking this step?
We will continue to tackle the rest of the mystery of “bathtizm” next time. 🙂