Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“What Prevents Me?”

Categories: RELIGIONS, SALVATION
     I just started going to church about three months ago, and I feel so blessed to be a part of what God is and His message.  I have a friend who inspired me to go to the church in the first place, and I told him recently that I want to get baptized.  My church does group baptisms and won’t be having one probably for months.  My friend really wants me to get baptized ASAP even though I’m okay with waiting.  He thinks it’s bad for me to wait.  Is it a bad thing to wait?

Sincerely,
Patient

Dear Patient,

A church that only does group baptisms every three or four months doesn’t understand what baptism is all about.  In the Bible, when people were ready to be baptized, they were baptized immediately (Acts 16:33).  The word ‘baptism’ simply means ‘immersion’ – it is the reason for your immersion that makes baptism a soul-saving act.  When we understand that baptism saves us from our sins (1 Pet. 3:21) and are baptized by the authority of Christ (Acts 2:38) and believe in His Name (Mk. 16:16), then that baptism saves us.  Many people are baptized without understanding these things… in which case, they just get wet.  Baptism isn’t merely an “outward showing of an inward faith” or “for membership”.  Baptism is what saves us (1 Pet 3:21).  Baptism is the point when someone goes from being lost to being saved because they are buried and resurrected with Christ (Rom 6:4-5).  Baptism is the final requirement to become a Christian.  There is not a single example of someone becoming a Christian without baptism.

It is definitely a bad thing to wait, and as attached as you may be to your church, you should seriously consider that they aren’t teaching the total truth of God’s Word.  We would be happy to point you toward congregations in your area that teach everything the Bible says and don’t leave important details out.  Your friend is right.  E-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org if we can be of help.