In this post I want us to think about the third of four ways we point to the gospel in the way we baptise people. The first way is by WHO we baptise, the second way is by HOW we baptise and the third way is by WHAT we say when we baptise people.
Jesus has told us that we are to baptise people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Why is that significant?
The reason is that it reaffirms again what the person believes. It is saying that they believe in God who is one yet three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is saying that they believe that this God has saved them.
The Bible doesn’t give any further instructions about what to say on occasions where people are getting baptised.
Two things which are normally done, but which are not essential, are asking those being baptised questions…
- Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?
- Do you believe that Christ died for your sin and do you trust only in Him for your salvation?
- Do you intend to confess Christ before the world without shame and to seek His will first in your life?
…and also getting them to share some of the story about how they became a Christian.
Both these things I think are helpful and again are ways in which the truths of the gospel can be highlighted. But we mustn’t insist that either must be present for a person to be baptised, and they certainly shouldn’t stop someone who has repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus from being baptised.
Just imagine if each of the 3000 people who were baptised on the Day of Pentecost gave a 5 minute testimony in front every one. By my calculations it would have taken over 10 days to get through all of them.
It’s important that churches and church leaders don’t put up barriers which the Bible doesn’t insist on which might stop believers from obeying Jesus’ command.
What is said when we baptise people is a way of telling the gospel.