Why aren’t more people getting baptized? It is because many pastors are teaching that baptism is not important for salvation. But is what they are teaching the same as what the early church taught? Absolutely not. All we need to do is look at Acts, chapter 2, and we can see what the disciples of Jesus were telling people to do, which desired to be saved. And it entailed repenting of their sins and being baptized. Let us read for ourselves and see what God’s Word says. It is written, “therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:36-40) This is how Jesus’s disciples, evangelists, teachers, and pastors led the church at that time.
So we learn that the early church leaders directed people to repent and be baptized. They would then receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And what is so fascinating is that they did this by telling people to save themselves from this lost generation. Therefore, baptism is needed, in order for the Holy Spirit to fully come upon a believer. Doing this is an act of faith, which we know that it is by faith that we are saved. Our saving faith would never exclude our works for God, otherwise, our faith would be dead and not alive. Paul said, “for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) We are created unto good works, every person in the faith, that is. Baptism is just one of those good works that demonstrate that we are saved and desire to now do God’s will. James also said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17) So why not go forward and die to your sins in baptism. You will come out a new creation in Christ Jesus. Then, living for Jesus will come naturally to you over time, since the Holy Spirit will be with you.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that the importance of both repentance and baptism will begin to be taught in all churches that say they are for You. For some reason, these two important factors of our faith in You, Jesus, are being left out in many churches today. And I wonder how this is happening, especially if all of the Bible is being taught in churches. The problem is, that not all of Your Word is being taught. Chapter by chapter and word for word is not taught from the pages of the Bible, therefore, many of Your fine-grain details of salvation are left out. Instead, what the elders of their churches are telling pastors to teach, they obey instead. No matter if important concepts like repentance and baptism are not taught. And even some pastors simply don’t teach on it, since they don’t think it is important for salvation. This is very sad since we know that You even taught Your disciples to go out in all the world and preach the gospel, by telling people to believe and be baptized. That people who do this shall be saved. And I believe what You said, Jesus. As for me, I want You to be with me at all times, and if the bible says that I put on Christ in baptism, I will do this. There is a way for You to come into my life and others, and that is why I preach the importance of faith, repentance, and baptism. I want to live for You and not the world or myself. Your will is what matters. I love You. Amen.