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The Importance of Baptism


The Importance of Baptism

Dear New Covenant Family,

Those of you who join me in faithfully (or fervently) reading Justin Taylor’s blog will recall his article from earlier this week, “Baptism: It’s Kind of a Big Deal.” Justin was commending another blog post from Professor Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary. I would encourage everyone to read Professor Blomberg’s provocative and challenging article:

Blomberg’s argument is clear: “I do want to insist that, if not normative, believers’ baptism by immersion as soon as feasible after conversion was the normal practice of the New Testament church, and it should be ours also.”

In addition to being an expression of obedience to our Lord and Savior, baptism is also “an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him” (1 Peter 3:21b-22, ESV). Or, in the words of the NIV, baptism is “the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.”

Baptism continues, therefore, to have a powerful influence throughout our lives. According to Blomberg, “With or without words, baptismal immersion testifies to our identification with the crucified and risen Christ.  With words, with the appropriate ‘pledge of a clear conscience toward God’ (1 Pet. 3:21), produced by already existing saving faith, baptism includes a promise to follow Jesus all the days of our lives.  If and when doubts assail us as to whether we truly believed ‘way back when,’ we can point to the vows we recited at our baptism.  If and when temptations come to turn our backs on Jesus and/or turn to some other religion, philosophy or world view, others have the right and responsibility to ask us, ‘Are you a person of your word? Are you a promise keeper?  You made a sacred oath; are you the kind of person that can be trusted, even when the hard times come, to be faithful to your covenants?’”

Throughout the centuries, countless men and women have paid a steep price in order to be baptized. Many have been persecuted or martyred for their faith. For them, going public meant risking their lives.

On July 24, our 5:00 p.m. Evening Service will be a celebration of baptism. If you have repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus Christ to be your Savior, he calls you to follow him in baptism. Please contact the church office for a Water Baptism Worksheet if you are interested in being baptized; once the worksheet is completed, we will arrange a pastoral interview.

Grateful to be a follower of Jesus,

Pastor David Sunday