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Why Baptism Matters

I’m a Klingler. “Bell-ringer” in German. Part of the family, the Klingler family that is.

If you have trusted in Jesus Christ, you are God’s son or daughter. Your last name is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God, the Triune God, the Christian God. You are God’s family.

You bear the family name and receive the family inheritance. John 1:12 tells us so: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” That’s who you are—a child of God.

But what’s the real marker of your faith? It is your baptism.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says it this way: “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.” In your baptism, you take on the family name. Identified with God. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Family.

A cloth that is “baptized” into red dye comes out red, so we now identify it as this new color. A ship that is “baptized” in the sea is swallowed up in the sea. So you are now “baptized” into, identified with, swallowed up by Christ. By faith in Christ, “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death,” and not only that but “we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom: 3-5). Dead in the water, as though we died with him, having the penalty for our sin paid for, having the wrath of God taken care of in His substitutionary death. Resurrected with Him, we come alive with Jesus. We have been crucified with Christ, we no longer live but Christ lives in us (Gal 2:20).

When you get baptized, you declare something great about Jesus and the transformation of your life. So stop making excuses, and get dunked. Over the years, I’ve heard quite a few of these common excuses…

But I don’t want to stand up in front of people and say this publicly, it’s awkward. Welcome to the Christian life. Following Jesus is not normal, and I wonder if this is why He has us get all wet. Baptism says, “I am with Him no matter what, no matter how silly, crazy, sacrificial, or wild the journey. I’m with Jesus.”

But I’ll mess up and sin the next day. I’m not good enough to be baptized. That’s the point: you’re not good enough. Jesus paid for your sin. Jesus gave you His goodness. Baptism declares you are not good enough, you are united with the One who is. Baptism says, “I have failed and will fail, and I am trusting in Christ.” Baptism says, “I will keep walking with and coming back to Jesus for forgiveness and transformation.”

But it’s been so long since I became a Christian, and to get baptized now would be so silly. This whole Christian life has not been, and is not about you. So get over it. Baptism says, “He is worth it. I’ll do whatever He says.”

Your baptism is not about you. It is all about your glorious Savior, whom you love and where you find your identity. He died for your sins. He gave you His goodness as your own. He resurrected you to life, and is coming back to make all things new.

So declare it: “I am His. We are family!”

If you are interested in hearing more about baptism, investigating if you should get baptized, or have questions, please email matt@thewellcommunitychurch.org today.