How Many Times Should I Be Baptized?
Written by Jenn Arman
Posted on July 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm
Question: I’ve never been baptized. Should I be?
Answer: Yes! If you’re a Christian and you haven’t been baptized, you should be for three very important reasons:
1. Jesus was baptized. In Matthew 3:11-17, John the Baptist is baptizing people in the Jordan River and telling them about Jesus:
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come on who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
Then Jesus shows up and asks John to baptize him. John tries to refuse but finally, he baptizes Jesus in the Jordan and after Jesus rises from the water [as He is praying]:
“At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, who I love; with him I am well pleased.'”
We’re called to be like Jesus so if Jesus starts by being baptized with water, then so should we.
2. We should be baptized as a public declaration of our faith. In the passage above, it’s only after Jesus’ baptism that God acknowledges Him publicly as His Son. Baptism is a public declaration of our faith. It tells people to whom we belong.
There are three parts to baptism:
- Life before Christ – When you step into the water you do so as a sinner. Romans 3:23
- Immersion - When you’re immersed in the water, it’s to show that you’ve died with Christ. Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:1-5
- Resurrection - When you’re raised from the water it shows that you’ve been raised with Christ through His resurrection and that you’re now a new creation belonging to God. Romans 6:1-5
3. Jesus commands it. Matthew 28:18-20:
“Then Jesus came to them [the disciples] and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’”
Jesus commands the disciples to go and make disciples and to baptize them. This doesn’t just mean people that became Christians by listening to Peter or John or Paul; it means all Christians everywhere. If you’re a follower of Christ, then Jesus has commanded baptism for you.
Question: I was baptized when I was a baby, so I don’t need to be baptized again, right?
Answer: If this is a question that you are asking yourself, I would point you to a few Scriptures in the Gospel of Luke. Luke 2:22:
“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him [Jesus] to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”
Jesus’ parents presented [dedicated, consecrated] him to God when he was a baby and this is a custom that many parents follow today, but the Bible describes baptism a little differently. Read Luke 2:41-50, and pay attention to how old Jesus was at this time and how old Jesus is in Luke 3:23.
In the first passage, Jesus is twelve years old and in the second, He is about thirty. Jesus is baptized not when he’s a baby but when he’s old enough to understand the importance of what he’s doing. If you were baptized as a baby, but not since asking Jesus to come into your heart and life, I encourage you to get baptized again and show the whole world who you belong to!
1 Peter 3:21-22:
“And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
Image: Hemera | Thinkstock