Dr. Charles Stanley

Children sometimes identify themselves with superheroes or other characters. For a season, they'll adopt the mannerisms, dress, and speech patterns of their current favorite. As Christians, we're supposed to imitate Jesus.

Our Savior commands us to follow His example in all things, including baptism: Matthew 28:19 says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus chose to be baptized. John the Baptist was calling the Jewish people to confess their sins and demonstrate repentance through immersion in the Jordan River. Sinless Jesus joined the crowd at the river and asked John to baptize Him. The Lord chose to affiliate Himself with sinful man. When we follow His example in the waters of baptism, we're publicly confessing our faith in the Savior and identifying ourselves with Him.

Baptism allows us to demonstrate our connection with Jesus and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We're all members of one body under the authority of the same Lord. But it's important to remember that Ephesians 2:8-9 says faith in Jesus Christ is the only requirement for salvation, not baptism. But, to fulfill His command, we're to be baptized following our decision to accept Him into our lives.

Luke 11:33 says we should never hide our belief in Jesus. We should express it through our words and actions. Have you matched your confession of faith with baptism?

Excerpted from "The Importance of Baptism" by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).