One of the differences many discover when they first hear me preach or teach is my appeal for those the profess a belief in Jesus of Nazareth as Christ, the Son of God, to immediately submit to baptism. I get it. I know what I teach is a little different from what many others teach.
Most groups within Christendom teach some form of baptism. Some sprinkle infants, some pour water over those who convert. Others immerse those who asked Jesus into their lives and hearts at some point earlier. So why do I place emphasis on the immediate immersion of those that profess faith?
Let’s start with a simple glance at the conversions to Christ of Jews and Gentiles in the book of Acts. There are ten accounts of different people or groups responding to the good news of salvation in Christ.
- The Jews on Pentecost in Acts 2:38 submitted to baptism.
- The Samaritans in Acts 8:12 submitted to baptism.
- Simon in Acts 8:13 submitted to baptism
- The Ethiopian in Acts 8:37-38 submitted to immersion.
- Saul of Tarsus in Acts 9 (Acts 22:16) submitted to baptism to wash away sin and to call on the name of the Lord.
- The Roman Centurion, Cornelius and his family in Acts 10 submitted to baptism.
- Lydia in Acts 16:14-15 submitted to baptism.
- The Philippian Jailer and his household submitted in Acts 16:25 submitted to baptism after hearing the gospel.
- Crispus in Acts 18:8 submitted to baptism.
- The Ephesians submitted to baptism in Acts 19:5.
This evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that the early disciples and Christians taught the importance of baptism. Why?
Why did the apostles and early Christians in Acts immerse converts?
To answer simply, I believe they were following what Jesus’ taught them.
- Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
- And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
If you are still reading and following along, allow me to share what I believe and teach.
- We are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus – Acts 15:11.
- Grace is tied to the good news, that is the gospel that saves – Rom 1:16.
- The saving gospel that the apostles taught is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ – 1 Cor 15:1-5.
- We must obey that gospel in someway – 2 Thes 1:7-10.
- We obey the death, burial, and resurrection when by faith we re-enact the event, dying to self and sin, being buried, and resurrecting as a new creation – Rom 6:3-6.
- This is how a sinner “calls on Jesus’s name” – Act 22:16.
- This is how one by faith puts on (gets into) Christ – Gal 3:26-27.
Faith obeys the commands of God and Christ. This is what and teach about the importance of baptism and why I teach it this way. I simply want to do my best to present the message of salvation and to provide assurance to those who come to Christ.