“Is your church obsessed with baptism? Why are all the baptism verses in your bible underlined?” I studied with Alexandria three times when she asked me these questions. She did not understand why we spend so much time and effort teaching about baptism while other churches seemed to just brush over it. She thought I had a baptism obsession. I was a little taken aback, to say the least. We as Christians want to be obsessed with Christ and we want others to notice it! So why do we spend so much time fixated on baptism? Are we obsessed?
When it comes to the truth about salvation, the step of baptism has become a battleground. You have heard many preachers say that Satan is doing his work of keeping souls out of heaven by stopping them one step from salvation. False teachers have made baptism an option or extra feather in your cap, but fail to recognize the purpose and significance of baptism. This is why we may seem obsessed with baptism. This is the spot we must camp and fight: the front-lines of the salvation issue. Without baptism, a person is not saved and cannot go to heaven. Let’s examine the scriptures:
Baptism Saves you!
“Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you— not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21)
“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 15:16)
Baptism cleanses us from our Sin!
“Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:15)
“Repent and each of you be baptized 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)
Baptism adds you to the body of Christ!
The “body” of Christ is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). We know from later in Ephesians that there is only one church because there is only one body (Ephesians 4:4). The “church” or “called out” are people who are in the body of Christ. There are two verses that specifically tell us how a person gets “into Christ” or into the body of Christ.
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3).
We can also see baptism related to souls being added recorded in the book of Acts.
“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).
“Battle Baptism” is our battle to fight because the church is responsible for teaching the truth and refuting error. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul calls the church “the pillar and support of the truth.” If the Lord’s church is not upholding the truth, no one is. Battle Baptism has to be fought because it is our commission and duty as the Lord’s church.
We are not obsessed with baptism; we are obsessed with teaching the truth and obsessed with saving souls. We are obsessed with teaching others about Jesus Christ and His power to save us through His death and resurrection. The Bible teaches that without baptism a person can not see heaven. So many have been led to believe that they are saved by just believing in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and asking Him to come and live in their hearts. We as Christians know that there are many steps for a person to follow in order to be saved. Hear, believe, confess, repent, be baptized and live faithfully as a righteous follower of Christ abiding in His word. (Romans 10:17, Romans 10:9-10, John 8:24, Luke 13:5, Acts 2:38). Christ’s church focuses on baptism so much because we know how vital it is that we tell others about Christ’s plan of salvation. We want others to partake of His death, His resurrection and receive the cleansing power of His blood. All of these things happen in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:3-5).
By Aimee Lemus
Aimee and her husband, Andrew, serve with the Norco church of Christ in Norco, CA. Both Aimee and Andrew hold Bachelors degrees from the Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver. Her husband is the minister and evangelist. Aimee is a stay-at-home-mom to Andrew Jr. and Annabella.