Ep. 215 Thinking Practically About the Vital Need to Be Baptized
Shows Main Idea – Baptism is an act of obedience for all people with whom the Lord regenerates. If God has imposed Himself into your life, and you have been born again, you want someone to baptize you. What does the ordinance of baptism mean practically? Rick shares a few practical thoughts about this privilege for all Christians, and he speaks particularly as a parent who desires their children walk with Christ in all matters of obedience.
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Most of the things we believe are preferential, not divisively doctrinal. This news may be odd to you if you spend time reading, listening, and watching the “smart people” talk about all the things that you can split into tiny theological hairs.
I’m stating this upfront because I don’t want you to read or listen here, thinking I’ve cornered the market on how things ought to be. I’m in a learning process just like you. The things I believed when I started my journey with the Lord in 1984 are not 100 percent identical to the beliefs that I subscribe to today.
Also, I don’t want you to succumb to the fear of man. When insecure folks hear how others do things, they can become anxious, as they wonder if they are doing something wrong. Or worse, they think that God is not pleased with them.
And then there is the legalist who lives in a clearly defined black and white world. If you don’t do it their way, you’re wrong, and there is nothing else to say about that. I’m not a legalist about baptism, and I trust you aren’t either.
For this podcast, I’ve divided baptism into two categories, non-negotiable and negotiable. As you will see, there are few things worth fighting over when it comes to this precious ordinance of the church. Every hill is not worth dying on, and the things you believe today will take on different shapes as you learn more about God and His Word.
The one thing you must not mess with is the gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Paul had strong words for those who try to define and live the gospel another way. But the great apostle was flexible, patient, and, above all else, humble when it came to many things, even if those truths are important to our walk with the Lord.
- Every Christian should want someone to baptize them.
- Baptism is a response to salvation, not a cause of salvation.
- Immersion is the best way but not mandatory.
- Any believer can baptize another believer.
- You don’t have to be saved or baptized in a church building.
- Christians and non-Christians should participate in your baptism.
- It’s not necessary to be baptized right after the Lord regenerates you.
- Baptism is for any age; the only requirement is a second birth.
- Preferably it’s better to be baptized when you’re older for two reasons: (1) You’re more likely to remember it if you’re older, which can mitigate doubts or confusion about your regeneration. (2) You’ve had the opportunity to remove yourself from the faith of your parents. You’re in a better place to examine your faith to see if it’s yours.
- Parents should be releasing when talking to their children about baptism. You don’t want to manipulate your children unwittingly.
- You want to (subjectively) assess if a candidate for baptism is doing this for fear of man reasons or faith in God reasons.
- Parents want to examine themselves to make sure they are not succumbing to the fear of others if their child does not pursue baptism while all their friend’s children are.
- Children should not take communion if they are not willing to be baptized–unless there is a prohibiting reason that you can’t baptize them, though they want to be.
- It is okay to be baptized twice, if it’s a matter of the conscience. Be sure to get wise counsel if you’re struggling about your first baptism.
- You won’t go to hell if you’re not baptized. You’ll go to hell if you’re not a Christian (John 3:16, 7, 36,; Romans 10:9, 13; Revelation 20:15)