Baptism: Is it a Big Deal?

By Joe Henriques, MBC Tysons Campus Pastor

Is getting baptized a big deal? It all depends on what it means. To get an idea of its importance, think about the following.

What if you’re attending a wedding ceremony, and the pastor asks the groom, “Will you take this woman to be your wife? If so, say ‘I will,’” and the groom responds, “Do I really need to say that?”

Or, let’s say you’re at a ceremony for new citizens, and the judge says, “Please rise to take the Oath of Citizenship and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution,” and a non-citizen immigrant says to the judge, “I want to have the benefits of being in America, but I really don’t want to be called an American citizen. Can I sit this one out?”

In God’s world, being washed with water has always symbolized for the follower of Jehovah and Jesus that they want to be morally pure and to be cleansed from their sins. It means one more thing: that they want to publicly acknowledge personal allegiance to their God.

Is your baptism a big deal to God? Look at one encounter of the first century to get a picture of what it means to God to see you baptized, and what he’ll do to help make it happen.[1]

In Acts 8, Philip, called the Evangelist, had been kicked out of Jerusalem because of persecution against Christians by the Jewish leaders and was leading a revival in Samaria. In the middle of all the activity, the Spirit said to him, “Get on the road to Gaza.” And so he went, not really knowing who he was looking for. Running alongside a chariot, Philip overheard the words of Isaiah being read. In the chariot was an Ethiopian eunuch, the chief treasurer of the Queen of Ethiopia, who was leaving Jerusalem and returning home after traveling over 1,000 miles to worship God at a Jewish feast. It wasn’t long before Philip had explained who Jesus was to the eunuch, leading him to the place where the eunuch said, “I want to be baptized and identify with Jesus.”

While there’s much more to the story, the main point is this: The way that God orchestrated a million logistical details for one person to know Jesus and have a desire to be baptized gives you insight into what He does in your life to bring you to the same place. After he was baptized, the Ethiopian eunuch went on his way rejoicing.

If you haven’t been baptized, why not? To God, it’s a big deal for you to publicly declare, “I belong to Jesus, and He belongs to me. I proclaim my personal allegiance to him.”

[1] Read Acts 8 for a full account of how the Spirit of God was working mightily during this time of early church history.

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