Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Favor of Quick Baptism

I think we are guilty of protecting new believers from depending on God. If we were to follow Christ’s example and deploy new believers immediately in ministry, we would see how quickly they are forced to pray, trust in God, listen to the Holy Spirit, and find answers. This would solidify their commitment on a much deeper level. They will have an unbreakable bond to the Head of the body—Jesus Christ. They will also learn to suffer for Christ’s sake which is part of the important pattern that Jesus and Paul set for us. (Phil. 1:27-29)

Perhaps this is why baptism was done so quickly in the New Testament. It was a chance for a brand-new believer to make a stand publicly for their new Lord, driving a figurative stake in the ground to declare allegiance to the Triune God. I fear, once again, we have wandered too far from the plain truth of the Scripture with dire results. Simple obedience to the plain pattern of the New Testament would serve us well in all areas of church practice. In our movement we baptize as quickly as we can and as publicly as we can. It is not uncommon to have people accept Jesus right there at someone else’s baptism and get baptized themselves.

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