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Baptism at Mt. Pleasant

If you want to follow Jesus, you should be baptized.


In baptism, just as Jesus was buried and resurrected, the old “you” is buried in the water and the new “you” rises to a changed life (Romans 6:4). Baptism was Jesus’ last command; in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said, “Go then to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”


I think Jesus intended that everyone who wants to follow Him would be baptized. Some will argue about whether baptism is “necessary”, but I think that misses the point. Our Lord commanded it. If He’s in charge, then we ought to do what He asked.


At the very first church “service”, just fifty days after the Cross, Peter made an appeal to the people: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). That day, 3000 people were baptized. It was their admission to the Kingdom. In the book of Acts, baptism is a part of every conversion. Sometimes it happens right before (as seems to be the case at Pentecost and with Paul in Acts 9). Sometimes it happens right afterward (as seems to be the case with Cornelius in Acts 10).


MPCC does not teach that baptism saves you… only Jesus saves. “It is by grace that you have been saved through faith… not by works, so no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). But baptism isn’t a work you do to impress God. It is an obedient response to His call on your life. The water doesn’t change you, but a humble response to His clear command can have powerful effect.


I believe that a person who wants to follow Jesus should be baptized.  In Acts 8, a Christian named Philip was sharing his faith with an Ethiopian man. After Philip explained who Jesus was and what Jesus commanded, the man said, “Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?” I think that’s the right attitude. There is no reason to delay. If you wait until you get your life straightened out, you will likely never feel “good enough.” He will move through your obedience if you humbly trust His word. I’m not sure who needs to hear this… but if it’s you – I pray you open up your heart to Jesus today!  

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