How important is baptism? Generally speaking, there are two mistakes that people make about baptism. The first is that you HAVE to be baptized in order to be saved. That’s just plain wrong. The second mistake is that, because you don’t have to be baptized in order to be saved, that baptism is not important—again, what a huge mistake to make. Baptism is not necessary for salvation, but it is very important because Jesus commanded it.
Baptism is something we should do for several reasons, but first and foremost, Jesus told us to follow His example and be baptized. Anything that Jesus emphasizes we should never minimize. Think of it this way, Jesus’ first act in His public ministry was to be baptized. His last command to His followers was to be baptized! Obviously this was/is very important to the Lord.
Another reason for emphasizing baptism is that it shows our commitment to the Lord. Paul said this to the church in Galatia, “You were baptized into union with Christ, and now you are clothed, so to speak, with the life of Christ himself.” ( Galatians 3:27 GNT) In-other-words, it proclaims openly that we are His and He is ours. It identifies us with Him. This is where the old illustration of Wedding Ring comes in. I wear a wedding ring to show that I am married to Patty and that I love her (and I do love that woman!) If I take my ring off, I’m no less married than when I have it on. The ring doesn’t make me married; it simply shows that I already am. Baptism doesn’t make me saved, but it shows the whole world that I am proudly a part of the clan known as Christian; that I am a Christ-follower.
A third reason for baptism is it shows your conversion. Peter said, “But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death”. (1 Peter 3:21 CEV) This is so important that I will write about it in more detail in another post. The Meaning Of Baptism. The point is that the reason we are baptized is because it acts as a testimony to those who see us baptized. There is an inherent message seen through the act of baptism, as we shall see.
Is baptism important? Yes! We cannot expect God to continue to give us more blessings when we refuse to follow His basic commands. Why would He bless us with more of anything until we are obedient? Remember, baptism is just a symbol, but a very important one. Don’t take your eyes off the Lord to focus on a symbol. Baptism, whether a spoonful or a tank full, can never save you. Having a right relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ is all that can do that.