Pastor Brian Matthew Markle Ottawa

By / / Water baptism is such an important moment in a Christian’s new life with Christ. In most churches, it is a celebration as the congregants welcome the new members to faith. Churches have festive music blasting out the speakers, balloons with bright colors, banners with relevant slogans like ”Raised to Life,” ”Straight Outta the Water,” ”Washed by the Water,” ”Made New,” ”I Have Decided” and so many more. It is an event in which the whole faith community rejoices in, as it is a reminder of someone’s decision to follow Christ. When Watchman Nee coined the saying that ”baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith”, he inspired thousands of pastors with a memorable quote, which in return inspired millions of people to take the next step in the showing of their faith in Christ. Every new believer is challenged to obedience by choosing baptism and every pastor is challenged in his inspiration to find ways to renew the message and urgency of it. In order to help you gain traction in your message presentation as well as in your communication to new converts, here are seven known verses you can use on your next baptism day. 1.Mark 16:16 ”Baptism and salvation are tied together” ”Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved.” (NLT). This inspiration piece is all about the alignment of salvation and baptism. In your presentation, it is possible to allude to the closeness of the two concepts. Mark, Peter and even Paul sometimes seems to present baptism as an inclusive part of salvation. It is the ”AND” that ties the concepts together. Some may not be totally comfortable with the proximity of the two words. Some churches totally believe that baptism IS part of salvation, and that salvation is not complete until baptism. If you are part of a church that holds on to that, you can easily remind your believers of the high importance of baptism. If you are not, you can still mention the tag line: ”Baptism and salvation are tied together.” 2. Luke 3:21-22 ”Believers follow Jesus’ example” or ”Do as Jesus Did” The Bible tells of this moment where Jesus goes to the Jordan river to see his cousin John the Baptist and ”While everyone else was being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized.” (CEV) For many Christians, there is this belief that it is hard to follow our Savior’s example. Though it may be the case for some subjects like loving your enemies or forgiving those that have offended you, getting in the water like Jesus is not one of them! It is probably the easiest way to do something like Jesus did. Even better, Jesus considered it important to be baptized in a public setting as everyone else was there. 3. Acts 8:36-37 ”Believe, Water, Baptism” or ”What is stopping me?” The Book of Acts shows you many times what happened in the early church. Baptism situations were firsts for them. In this story, believers are reminded of the simplicity of the baptism process: you believe, you find water, you get baptized. ”Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ”Look, there is water! What is to stop me from being baptized? Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ”Look, there is water! What is to stop me from being baptized?” (NET) It was a simple process, and maybe, just maybe, it should still be as easy today as it was back then. 4. Acts 22:16 ”What are you waiting for?” Peter adds another layer of the straightforwardness and naturalness of the baptism decision. Here’s how he says it in the Passion Translation ”So now, what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins as you call upon his name.” You can agree this is a forthright statement and it has the advantage of being a (very) clear question. Some of the reasons Christians delay their decision before getting baptized is that they’re waiting for the perfect or best moment for it and/or they want to ”clean up” their lives before entering the water. This verse addresses both situations. Stop waiting, Peter declares. The perfect moment, the best water temperature, the nicest day, those things have no importance. Additionally, you go through baptism’s waters to wash away your sins. It’s like you don’t need to take a bath before getting in the shower! 5. 1 Peter 3:21 ”A pledge of a clear conscience” Peter, the direct one of all the apostles when Jesus was on the earth, kept that quality when the Lord ascended to Heaven. In his epistle, he reminds his readers the importance of baptism to those who diminished it. Baptism is not just a symbolic bath, a gesture to wash your body illustrating a decision. It is a pledge you are making to God like he writes, ”It (baptism) is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience.” (GNT) Baptism is a promise, a pledge, a commitment you’re making to live according to your beliefs. Your personal actions will now follow the good decision you willingly made to walk the Christian faith. 6. Colossians 2:12 ”Buried and raised” Paul emphasizes the beauty and deep work of baptism to the Colossians when he writes, ”having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (NIV) Baptism is symbolizing the death of our old life and raised to a new one, empowered by the faith of God’s work within your life. ”You were dead spiritually; you are now alive spiritually” is what baptism’s message is and it becomes your life’s testimony. 7. Galatians 3:27 ”Clothed with Christ” This final verse is the epilog of a book, the cherry on the sundae, the period at the end of a sentence. ”And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (NLT). Once baptized, you are now clothed with Christ himself, living a new life.