“…Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
I find it interesting that Jesus barely got the words, “make disciples,” out of His mouth before He spoke of baptism. This shows us that Jesus fully expected that the first step of a new follower of Christ would be baptism. That is why when you read the New Testament you will find that every person, without exception, who made a decision to follow Jesus, was immediately baptized.
It is important that we notice the order of the steps Jesus gave in His final commandment. They are both specific and instructive. He didn’t say to baptize first, then to teach, and then to make disciples. He also didn’t say to teach first, then to baptize, and then to make disciples. He intentionally said to make disciples first, then baptize these new believers, and then to teach them all that He has commanded.
Baptism is an important part of faith in Christ. While it does not save us, it is about more than just getting wet. We know this because Jesus said to baptize, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The phrase, “in the name of,” comes from the world of banking. It literally means to put money into an account and give someone something for his possessions. Baptism is a picture of a disciple coming into the possession of God and entering into His family. It shows that we have entered the family of the Father, through the sacrifice of the Son, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. You won’t find any such thing in the Bible as an unbaptized member of the New Testament Church.
In His final words to His followers in Matthew 28:19, Jesus let us know that Christianity is not intended to be lived out alone. When you follow Jesus, you are adopted into His family. Ours is a community of faith that spans generations. It transcends all racial, cultural, and socio-economic barriers. The Holy Spirit that lives in each of us unites us under one cause – to make disciples of all nations.
Dear Jesus, thank you for setting an example of baptism during your time on earth. Give me the courage to obey you in believer's baptism if I haven't already, so that I might publicly proclaim my devotion to you. Amen.