“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”Matthew 28:19
There are two major camps regarding the purpose and intent of being baptized by immersion in water. One supports the belief that this form of baptism is essential for salvation, whereas the other cites it as an act of obedience to what the Lord has commanded as part of the Great Commission. John the Baptist said, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3:11). John’s baptism served as an outward sign of an individual’s inward penitent heart and a sincere desire to be obedient to the Lord. John alludes to the fact that Jesus will baptize believers not with water but with the Holy Spirit and fire.
When people accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord, they receive the Holy Spirit’s baptism, who then dwells in them to guide and help them grow in their Christian walk. As apostle Paul said, we are “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). Then why do we baptize by immersion in water? It is because Jesus commanded it to be so when He issued the Great Commission. Do not be deceived by those who throw a few verses of Scripture out of context to claim that water baptism is necessary to receive salvation. That is simple hogwash because such claims are not congruent with the context of Scripture. Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus in whom our heavenly Father has given all authority.
All that being said, the first thing that must be done is for us, the Lord’s present generation of disciples, to go and share the gospel. Apostle Paul put it this way: “How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?” Therefore, let us set out this week to share the gospel and save a life– a soul, as led by the Holy Spirit.