The Great Commission--
  You, as a believer are commanded to be baptized. Just before he ascended into heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ gave his disciples what we refer to as "the great commission." He commanded them, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19, 20). So, water baptism is commanded by the Lord Jesus, and the Lord said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

  Baptism should be one of your very first acts of obedience to the Lord. The following believers were saved (received the Lord by faith), and then were baptized in water, and serve as good examples for us who have "believed through grace" (Acts 18:27); the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:37, 38); the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-19); Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48); Lydia (Acts 16:14, 15); the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:30, 31); and Crispus and many Corinthians (Acts 18:8).

Water baptism is not for salvation-

Some churches today teach that the new birth comes by water baptism and is the way the believer receives the new birth and is added to the church, however, the Bible very clearly teaches that after we hear and believe the gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes (immerses) the believer into his body, the church, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost Matthew 3:11); ICorinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:12-14). This is the "one baptism" of Ephesians 4:5. This is the "baptism [which] doth also now save us" (I Peter 3:20, 21), which is pictured by Noah staying DRY in the ARK and not being immersed by the flood!

  Water baptism IS a "work of righteousness," however the scripture says, "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:4, 5). Our sins were not washed away by water, but by the Lord Jesus Christ who "washed us from our sins in his own BLOOD" (Revelation 1:5)! See also Colossians 1:14 and Ephesians

  Water baptism, then, is an outward picture of what has happened already to the believer. Going down into the water pictures death and burial, and coming up out of the water pictures the resurrection. Water baptism is normally a public act by which the believer declares his faith in Christ and shows his obedience to the Lord. God said, "to obey is better than sacrifice" (I Samuel 15:22).

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