In the last post, we addressed two of the major concepts we can take away from Scripture concerning baptism. Below follows two more ideas that are crucial to our understanding and practice.
Believer’s Baptism is a Command of Jesus
In one of the most famous passages in the Bible, Matthew 28:16-20 (the Great Commission), the resurrected Jesus clearly commands His disciples to go into all the world under His authority, to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of our triune God, and to teach them to practice all that Christ had commanded them.
Well, one thing Christ just commanded them, was to baptize them, but who’s ‘them’? Them are the disciples that His disciples made as they took the Gospel into all the world. See then that when Jesus could’ve broadened the proper subjects of God’s baptism beyond new believers, actual disciples, He doesn’t. His command concerning baptism falls upon those who have come to faith in Christ. Jesus commands believer’s to be baptized. Our Lord commands believer’s baptism. This much is abundantly clear, and clarity is the best friend of the best interpretation. In other words, the argument for believer’s baptism isn’t an argument from silence, but a command from the very lips of Jesus.
Believer’s Baptism is a Joyful Means of Grace
What a celebration it should be when one goes public for Jesus by baptism! There are so many blessings set upon it. Here are a few—the baptized has the blessing of having obeyed Jesus. They have the privilege of depicting His saving grace to others. They have the joy of declaring His triumph to antagonistic principalities and powers. They have the assurance that comes from a Gospel-church affirming the reality they mean to profess: this person belongs to Jesus and to Jesus’ people.
They have the assurance that God has set them apart from the world, bound them to His Son, His New Covenant promises, His New Covenant people, and established their names in Heaven by the blood of Christ. And the baptizer, the church, gets to see and hear and proclaim and revel in all of these grandiose mercies with this particular individual. It edifies us! More could be said here but, suffice it to say, believer’s baptism, baptism signifying that one has really, actually come to faith in Christ, is a joyful means of grace all-around.
Next time, we’ll flip this around and take a look at what baptism isn’t. Until then, continuing to aim only for fully-informed minds begetting fully-rejoicing hearts as we, in spiritual unity and with holy accountability, come to remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. Devoted to the most Scriptural display of Christ’s glory in and through you,