I’m really embarrassed to admit this, but when I was in fifth grade and about to get baptized in front my entire church, I was terrified. “Why should I get baptized?” panicky, 10-year-old me wondered. I was a pretty weak swimmer, so being dunked under water (for who-knows-how-long) by the pastor at my church was not something I was excited about, to say the least. Despite my doubts, I knew that getting baptized was important. I just didn’t know exactly why. Thankfully, I did know I’d spend eternity with Jesus even if I didn’t get baptized. I had already committed my life to Him.
So why should I get baptized? I learned that baptism is a lot like getting married and putting on a wedding ring. Which I’ve also done recently. If I accidentally lost my ring, I’d still be married. Even though the ring isn’t what makes me married, I still wear it all the time. Why? Because I want the world to know I’ve committed to spend the rest of my life with her. My wedding ring is a symbol of my commitment to my wife. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul reminds us we’re not saved by any good works—including baptism—but only by grace through faith in Jesus.
So, you might still be wondering—why should I get baptized?
- … because Jesus was baptized and wants us to baptize others. In Matthew 3:16, we learn about the time when Jesus Himself was baptized before He started His ministry on earth. If the Son of God pursued baptism, so should we. Later, Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20 He wants us to spread His message of love. He told us to continue baptizing and being baptized! Okay, Jesus. We’re happy to obey.
- … because you’ve decided to follow Jesus and you want people to know. Making the decision to become a follower of Christ is the best decision you’ll ever make. When you make a life-changing decision like this, you want to tell everyone about the new hope you’ve found in Jesus! Our faith should be personal, but not private. Baptism is about going public with your faith.
- … because baptism is a powerful symbol of what Jesus did for us. When we’re baptized, we’re reminded of what Jesus did for us. When we go down into the water, we’re reminded of Jesus’ death on the cross and His payment for our sins. But when we come out of the water, we’re reminded that three days later, Jesus rose from the dead! 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if we’re in Christ, we’re new creations. Baptism reminds us that the old is gone, and the new has come!
Remember: getting baptized is important, but not because it saves you. The grace of God through faith in Jesus is what saves you. Getting baptized is all about telling the world about the change that’s already happened inside of you. If you’ve decided to get baptized, it’s time to party! Make sure you invite your friends and family to celebrate with you.