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Five Things that Bring God Pleasure 3- Baptism

Five Things That Bring God Pleasure
Day 3: Baptism
Jonathan Draper

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’ And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:38-41, ESV)
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:35-38, ESV)
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4, ESV)

Today we will look at the topic of baptism as we continue our study of things that bring God pleasure. In fact, baptism could fit under the umbrella of obedience covered in day one of this study. Some refer to baptism as “believers’ baptism” because, as we will find out, baptism is an action for believers to take, not something that results in salvation.
What exactly is baptism? The word for “baptized” in Acts 2:38 carries with it the meaning of “being submerged.” It does not mean being sprinkled nor poured out upon, but being completely submerged under the water before being brought back to the surface. Baptism is a wonderful picture of Christ’s work on this earth. He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day, bringing eternal life to all who believe. Baptism is a picture of what happened at salvation, our old selves having died (submerged in water) and being raised again as a new person (coming out of the water) as one who is saved (1 Cor. 15:3-4).

Let me be clear: there is nothing in the water that saves. Notice in Acts 2:41 that Peter’s command to be baptized is for “those who received his word.” Baptism is an act for believers, an act of obedience unto God. We know from 3 John 4 that the Lord has “no greater joy than to hear that [His] children are walking in the truth.” It brings God great joy and pleasure to see His children be baptized. Why is this?

For one, baptism is a public proclamation that a believer is linking oneself with Christ. Some have called baptism “an outward declaration of an inward work.” The old self has passed away and we have been made new. You can think of it in a similar sense as wearing an engagement ring. When a couple gets engaged, the woman typically wears an engagement ring to show that she is linked with her fiancé and is now unavailable. Baptism is a way in which we show that we are linked with Christ, and, as His bride, we too are waiting for our wedding day (Rev. 19:7-9).

Baptism is part of “The Great Commission” set forth by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. What a blessing it is to be saved and to obey this command. The Lord delights in our obedience, and I would encourage all who are saved to be baptized; publicly proclaim that you belong to Him. It will bring great joy to our Lord and our God when you do this.

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