Matthew 28:18-20 - A Wet Commission
Baptism doesn't make you a Christian, it's always been a core part of Christianity.
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Read Matthew 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 71
Q. Where does Christ promise
that we are washed with
his blood and Spirit
as surely as we are washed
with the water of baptism?
A. In the institution of baptism where he says:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
This promise is repeated when
Scripture calls baptism
the washing of rebirth
and the washing away of sins.
Matthew’s Gospel closes with Jesus giving the Great Commission to the Disciples. This passage has been quoted as the rallying cry behind countless outreach and discipleship efforts. While commanding the eleven remaining disciples to go and make more disciples, Jesus teaches them how to do this: by baptizing and teaching.
Jesus’ command to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit was taken seriously by the first disciples. In the history of the Christian Church, there is no time that we are aware of where the people of God were without baptism. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit poured out on the Disciples, Peter preached what is considered the first Christian sermon. This is the response of the crowd and Peter’s reply from Acts 2:37-38:
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “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.
Thousands came to faith in Christ that day and what was it they were commanded to do? Repent and be baptized. From the beginning, the Church has taken Jesus’ command to baptize seriously.
It would be hard to deny that there has been a cultural shift in the United States in the last few decades. With the rise of the “nones” (those without a declared faith), there is an increasing number of people in the United States who are not baptized. As the Church reaches out to these people groups, the discussion around baptism will grow ever more important. Are we, the Body of Christ, ready for those discussions?
If you have never been baptized yourself, what is holding you back from taking this step of faith? If you have been baptized, do you feel prepared to share the significance of baptism with someone who asks?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who has equipped us His children and commissions us to gather those He's called into His Kingdom;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for your baptism, or if you haven't been baptized, pray that you will step forward and request it;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Luke 2