Why Are We Baptized?

Daily God Walk for Sunday, July 10, 2011

 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19

 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.” – Acts 2:38

 

The short answer to the question, “Why are we baptized?” is simply, “Jesus commanded it.” However, a little explanation may help us to get a better idea of why he commanded us to be baptized.

The rite of baptism began to be practiced in the period we call intertestamental. That is the time between the writing of the last book of the Old Testament and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus which was about 400 years.

During that period of time it became a practice to initiate Gentile converts into Judaism in a ritual which included totally immersing into a pool of water. The idea was that a person born outside the family of Jews would have to put away their old life and start a new life to become a Jew.

The convert would take off all of his clothes then step into the pool and dunk himself totally under the water as a symbol of burying his old life. When he arose from the water he had washed himself clean of all his past and now he was entering the world a new person. He was given a new name and new clothes.

The Jews in Jesus time knew that process and knew that being baptized symbolized starting a new life. That is why John would not baptize anyone who could not give evidence that they had indeed repented of their former sins and desired to be changed (Luke 3:8).

Today we are baptized in the same manner to symbolize burying our old nature and rising to a new life with a new name,   bearing in our spirit the name of Jesus.

Baptism is an act of obedience and a work of righteousness which is expected of all believers. In fact, even Jesus was baptized so that he would lead his followers in fulfilling all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).

 Prayer: Lord, I thank you that you have given me the opportunity to be baptized into Christ and to take the name of Jesus in my heart. Amen.

We would love to hear from you. Send email to: paul@newhopeministryresources.org

Would you like a printed copy of the Daily God Walk? Visit us at: www.newhopeministryresources.org/dgw-orderinfo.html

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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