7 Commands of Christ
In Mathew 28: 19- 20 Jesus says, “Therefor go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and teaching them everything I have commanded you.”
MAKING DISCIPLES = BAPTIZING + TEACHING EVERYTHING JESUS COMMANDED
In Mathew 28 why did Jesus say that making disciples is baptizing and teaching everything He commanded? Couldn’t he have just said, “Teach everything I commanded?” When Jesus left final instructions with is disciples he was very clear about what being a Disciple was. He encouraged them to make disciples. Making disciples starts with obedience. Baptism is simply an act of obedience. Let’s investigate why.
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” 34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39 (ESV)
1. What do we learn about God?
2. What do we learn about man?
3. Is there an example to follow?
4. Is there a command to obey?
Baptism is first a command. It is a command that expresses one of our first acts of obedience. Our willingness to be baptized reveals our willingness to be obedient to the more difficult commands of Christlikeness.
It is secondly a symbol of our willingness to put to death (bury) our former way of living and our desire to associate ourselves with Christ’s ways. For example, he lived, we live / He suffered, we suffer/ He died to self, we die to self / He loves, we love / He was baptized, we are baptized, and the list goes on and on.
Does infant baptism count?
It counts as an important part of certain church and family traditions, but baptism needs to be a personal decision made by the individual, symbolizing their personal decision to walk in obedience to God, His Spirit, and Scriptures.
Is it wrong want to get baptized again?
No, although getting baptized again should only happen when the person truly believes that their previous baptism was manipulated, pressured, or simply not characteristic of their decisions to walk in obedience to God, His Spirit, and Scriptures.
Is baptism essential for salvation?
No, it is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It symbolizes our death to self, burial of our previous lifestyle, and our new life found in Jesus. It is also an opportunity for us to follow the model that Jesus put before us – He was baptized so we are baptized.
How is baptism performed?
In scripture we find that baptism is an immersion under water. I personally encourage baptism that follows the example established in scripture, but in not way discredit someone’s desire to perform baptism in some other way. The main thing that must be evident in the individual is a mind and heart that are repentant and walking in obedience to God, His Spirit, and Scriptures.
Do we receive the Holy Spirit after Baptism?
No, you receive the Holy Spirit when you surrender you heart, mind, and soul to God. (admitting you are a sinner, believing Jesus died on the cross for your sins forgiving you of sin, and you confess that you want Jesus to be the lord of your life)
Do I need to be baptized more than once?
If you truly have a relationship with God through Jesus you only need to be baptized once.
Lord give me the strength to identify my life with you first through the symbol of baptism and then beyond.
If you have not been baptized receive baptism and continue to walk in obedience to God.