Posted On March 15, 2022

Why You Should be a Baptist – Part 5

by | Mar 15, 2022 | Theology

This is the fifth and final post in a series of posts on why you should be a baptist. In the last few posts, we’ve been looking at what Baptism signifies. We conclude with today’s post. Baptism signifies, Resurrection, Regeneration, Renewal, Relocation, Resolve, Reception, Return, and finally, in Baptism we have a:

Reminder

Wilhelmus Á Brakel writes, “If you are a believer, and if the principle of spiritual life is to be found within you, it is especially your duty to make good use of your baptism.”

How do we do this? How do we make “good use” of our Baptism? By remembering all that our Baptism stands for. So, I will give you three ways remembering our Baptism aids us in making good use of it. First,

Safety

Now, I want to be careful here. I am not saying that if you have been baptized you most definitely are a Christian. There will be many people who underwent the outward ordinance of Baptism but who were never born again. However, there is a measure of comfort we are to take from our Baptism. We are to look at our baptism and consider all that we’ve considered in this series of posts:  Resurrection, Regeneration, Renewal, Relocation, Resolve, Reception…

These are all things our Baptism points to. God has given us this visible symbol and reminder for a reason. You ought to put it to good use. You ought to remember who you are in Christ. Again, consider the wedding ring. You have a discouraging argument with your spouse. But later you look down at that wedding ring and you are reminded of the beauty of marriage and your commitments and your love.

In Baptism, we are reminded of these things too, except in the Christian life. We are reminded of God’s love. We are reminded of Christ’s work. We are reminded of who we are. We are reminded of our resolve. We are reminded of our commitment to the local church.

Are you discouraged, dear Christian? Remember again the gospel as dramatized in the ordinance of baptism! Cling not to the waters, but to what the waters point to, namely, the gospel.

Make good use of your baptism!

2ndly,

Sanctification

Paul instructs the Ephesians in Ephesians 4:22-24 to “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

In Baptism, we have symbolized taking off the old man and putting go the new, and now it is our fight every day to continue to do this. Every day we continue to mortify the deeds of the flesh. We continue to look to Christ and seek to walk in newness of life.

If your remembering your baptism means you just live a life of unchecked rebellion and sin but you’re clinging to your Baptism as your hope, you are foolish. This is not the purpose of Baptism. If this is you, then your Baptism is worthless to you because you are not born again. You need to repent and believe the gospel (and then join a church and be biblically baptized).

But for those who have been born again, our Baptism serves as a reminder of who we are so that we can continue our growth in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Maybe in this sense, it’s similar to the movie the Patriot. Mel Gibson plays Benjamin Martin. His oldest son, Gabriel Martin, is continually sewing an American Flag in the movie. And even in the midst of despair and defeat, that flag is a symbol of what they are fighting for in the American Revolution. And looking at the flag is what sort of turns the battle at the end of the movie.

Well, in a similar way, we look to our Baptism to remember what we are fighting for. We are Christ’s and this fight is worth it. Keep pressing on. Christ is King.

Safety, Sanctification, and finally, let your Baptism serve as a reminder for:

Soul-Winning

Baptism ought to remind you of this: GOD SAVES PEOPLE! He saved you. He is building a people, His church. He is coming again.

And so, in one way, our Baptism serves as a great motivation to share the faith once delivered. To share the gospel. To call all who will hear to come to Christ and look to Him and be saved. Turn for your sins and believe His blessed gospel.

In Baptism, we are reminded of His death and burial and resurrection for our sins and so we take that message to the nations. Christ Jesus is King and He saves! By His death and endless life, Jesus saves, Jesus saves. Shout it from the rooftops. Post it on Facebook. Share it at work. Share it in your home. Pass out a tract. Meet with a friend. Send a letter. Jesus saves, Jesus saves!

Let our Baptism be one of our motivations for this great work of soul-winning to our neighbors and the nations.

How wonderful is this ordinance of baptism? How good is God to give us this sign of Resurrection, Regeneration, Renewal, Relocation, Resolve, Reception, Return, and a Reminder?

Now the question turns to you: What about you?

  1. Do you follow this King? Do you understand that even at this moment there is an opportunity for you to turn for your sins and put your faith in Christ?

Look to the Son in faith and life. See Christ as your only suitable and all-sufficient Savior. And then follow the Lord in believer’s baptism.

  1. For believers: How are you making good use of your baptism?

Are you a paedobaptist? You ought to become a credobaptist. This series of posts has shown you that the Biblical mode of Baptism is immersion and that it is only for those who have been born again. Are you already a credobaptist? Live for the King. Remember the gospel. Fight sin. Evangelize the lost.

To God be the glory.


 

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2 Comments

  1. David Bunn

    Thank you for the well articulated case for believer’s baptism. I have always thought of baptism in this way, so for me to have to say ‘believer’s’ is somewhat unnatural and unnecessary, but in making your case, I see the need.
    The only follow up question I have concerns the practice of delaying or scheduling baptism. Reading scripture in context, where baptism takes place, the act is always immediately following the profession. Why and how did the practice of ‘baptism Sunday’ or baptism classes emerge? There is no prescriptive scripture to test one’s profession for any length of time before baptism, so why do we do it now? In addition, I have witnessed many baptisms where it seemed the witnesses had more explanation as to what baptism doesn’t do than what we are actually witnessing. This seems to cheapen the ordinence significantly. My question isn’t faith changing, nor your reply; simply a concern I have as to current practice. (I have asked this question of many pastors, to which all seem to agree with me that it should be immediate, yet they continue to delay and schedule)
    Again, thanks for your time and efforts. Your ministry is deeply appreciated!

    • Michael Coughlin

      Thanks for the message, David, and the kind words.

      I’ll take a stab at it. I think one reason in the west that we delay baptism is because we have seen so much false assurance offered to folks by baptism when living in a culture where baptism costs us nothing to do. In some contexts, like the NT, simply coming forth for baptism was so dangerous that it wasn’t really questionable whether someone had counted the cost.

      I’m not necessarily saying this is the right way to think about it, but I think some modern churches are hoping to avoid giving false assurance, keep the church from getting too many false converts involved, and slowly add church members through baptism after some time of discipleship and being more certain of their salvation.

      Additionally, if we “just baptize errybody” who says the name of Jesus, it could be argued that that cheapens the ordinance as well. So I think there could be ditches on both sides. But your question is a good one and it is making me think about it. So thank you.