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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - Do I Need to be Baptized to be Saved?

James Meehan - Do I Need to be Baptized to be Saved?

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    James Meehan - Do I Need to be Baptized to be Saved?
TOPICS: Baptism, Salvation, Bible Nerds

Well, today on Bible Nerds, we are talking about baptism, that thing where somebody gets dunked underwater by somebody else, and it's all for the name and glory of Jesus, and people go crazy, that's what we're talking about today, and you're probably gonna learn some stuff that maybe you didn't know before. So stay tuned.

So, before we get into what baptism is, I thought I'd share with you my baptism story, the first time I was baptized, keyword first time, because there was a second time. I was a wee little baby, because my family grew up in the Catholic Church, and a part of the Catholic Church's tradition is to get baptized as a baby with some sprinkling of the water on the forehead. Now, that was a thing that happened, but then as I got older, I didn't really understand what following Jesus was about, until my teenage years, when I unfollowed Jesus all together, walked away from the church, didn't wanna have anything to do with the things of God, until Jesus showed back up, and flipped my life upside down.

So, the second time I got baptized was when I was 19 years old, and it was because I had been transformed by the love of Jesus, and I got to get baptized with my entire family, I'm one of five kids, I got two parents, so, all seven of us were at the front of our church in this inflatable pool at the Sunday morning 10 o'clock service, going public with our faith in Jesus, because of what He had done for us. What about you? Have you been baptized? If so, why did you get baptized? Now, I know that there are some people who get baptized because it was a decision their parents made for them. There are some people who get baptized because it's what everybody else is doing. There are some people who, believe it or not, get baptized to try to win back a boyfriend or girlfriend that they think getting baptized will win their affection. Usually doesn't work super well in the end.

Maybe though for you, the reason you got baptized is because you genuinely believe that Jesus is who he said he was, the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world. So, no matter how you got baptized or why you got baptized, the most important thing that we can do is look to Jesus. So what we're gonna do is read in Matthew 3 the story of Jesus's baptism, and then we're gonna use that to teach us some lessons about what it means for us to follow him more faithfully.

Matthew 3:13 begins, "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John". This is his cousin, John the Baptist. "But John tried to deter him, saying 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now it is proper for us to do this, to fulfill all righteousness,' so John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and a lighting on him, and a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son whom I love, with him I am well pleased.'"

So what is baptism? It's that thing where somebody gets dunked underwater by someone else, sometimes in a church, or a pool, or a hot tub, or a river, or some other body of water, all in the name of Jesus. And it's something that Jesus did too. Now at our church, we say that baptism is symbolic of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior baptism is a way for us to publicly declare our new life in him. It's also a step of obedience based on God's commands and it allows us to follow the example of Jesus who submitted himself to baptism to fulfill all righteousness.

Now, that's what we believe as a church about baptism, that it is an act of obedience, and it is a symbol for what God has done through Jesus. Now, that also means that we do not believe that you have to be baptized in order to be saved, that forgiveness of sins does not require baptism first. Now, we do believe that everybody should get baptized, because Jesus did it and he tells us to do it, but we do not believe it is a requirement for salvation, because salvation, rightness with God is something we receive when we believe in Jesus.

Romans 10:9 tells us this, that, "If you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'" We see this verse play out when the thief on the cross turns to Jesus and says, "Remember me when you come into your kingdom," and Jesus responds by saying, "Today you will be with me in paradise".

What saved him? It wasn't baptism, it was faith in Jesus, and that's the same thing that saves you. So if baptism isn't a requirement for salvation, why should we get baptized? Well, because it's an act of obedience and it shows your allegiance. Baptism is an act of obedience, Jesus did it, and he tells us to as well, as we read above, he did it, because that's what doing the right thing required, because for Jesus, baptism was so much more than just getting dunked in a river. For him, it was him doing everything that the people of God had failed to do before, it was him showing that he truly was the Messiah, the Savior King of the world. And for us, when we do this act of obedience following in his footsteps, it is showing that we are committed to him above anyone and anything else.

Baptism is also a declaration of our allegiance. If you were born in another country, and you were to immigrate to the United States, and attempt to become a US citizen, you would go through a naturalization process to become a citizen. Well, that's basically what baptism is when it comes to the kingdom of God. It is your citizenship process, it's you saying like, "Hey, I'm all in, I believe in Jesus, he is my king, and I am his person". That's what baptism is doing, it is showing that your allegiance is to Jesus that he is your king and you are his people. That's why we say that faith is trust, based on evidence that produces obedience. In other words, faith is allegiance to Jesus. So now what?

Well, if you've committed your life to Jesus, and you haven't taken the step to get baptized, start there, go public with your faith in Jesus through baptism. If you are a follower of Jesus and you've already been baptized, then play your part in the great commission, make disciples by bringing people to Jesus, baptizing them and showing them how to follow Jesus. These were the final words that Matthew recorded before Jesus ascended into heaven in Matthew chapter 28. "Then Jesus came to them 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'"

Jesus has invited us to join him in his mission to rescue people from sin, repair humanity's broken relationship with God, and restore the world. And we do that by bringing people to Jesus and baptizing them as a public declaration of their faith in him. When we do this, we are contributing to a work that God is already doing in the world. Now, maybe you're watching this and you've never actually made the decision to put your faith in Jesus. I just wanna say there is nothing better, there is nothing more beautiful than committing your life to him, than letting him be the Lord of your life, letting him save you from your sins, that's exactly why he came.

So if you wanna begin a relationship with Jesus it's pretty simple, you just confess with your mouth, you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead. Well, thank you so much for joining us for this week of Bible Nerds. If you haven't already, make sure you like the video, comment down below, and then subscribe to our channel because we've got videos like this that come out every week designed to help you grow in your faith and become the person God's made you to be. Take care and stay nerdy.
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