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Do I Have To Get Baptized? (3 of 4)
Series: Right or Wrong
OPEN: South East Christian Church in Louisville, KY is a congregation of about 15,000 members. It's so huge they have a very specialized paid staff. For example, they have a staff member in charge of something they call the ''wedding department.'' One Sunday, a staff member from that department was privileged to be asked to baptize a new convert. On the Sunday he was to baptize his friend, something must have unsettled him - maybe it was the size of the congregation present, or the pressure of the moment.
Whatever it was, that morning, in front of the entire congregation he took the man's confession and then declared: ''I now pronounce you….'' And then stopped as he realized what he'd said. Then he smiled as he continued: ''I now pronounce you… baptized!''
APPLY: We know - as Christians - that marriage is important to God. It is a sacred union of two people in the presence of God. But while God doesn't require you to fall in love and get married - if you intend to live with someone of the opposite sex God says - you had better get married.
That man from the ''wedding department'' almost confused the vows from a wedding ceremony with the words he normally would have used while baptizing someone. Wedding vows are required of someone who desires to be married. But is baptism required of someone who desires to become a Christian.
In other words: Do you have to be baptized?
I. Well, what did Jesus say?
Jesus commanded His disciples to ''… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'' (Matthew 28:19).
What that means is: baptism is not an option for God's people. It is commanded and expected by Jesus for all who would belong to Him.
In Mark 16:16 Jesus said ''He who believes and is baptized shall be saved…''
Baptism was so important that Jesus Himself was baptized by John the Baptist ...
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