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Acts of Disciples

If there is time and opportunity for baptism, it is important to do so as Jesus directed!

The Acts of Disciples
They Make Disciples – Part II

Scripture Reading: Acts 18:11-23

Key Verse: Acts 18:23
After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Yesterday, we began studying the commands that Jesus gave us for the making of disciples. We covered the first, today let’s look at the second command.

The second last command of Jesus is “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20). This command reminds us that making disciples is more than getting people to put their faith in Jesus; faith is the first step, but not the last.

There are two extreme views about baptism in today’s church.

One extreme is if a person is not baptized, they are not saved. The problem with this view is that Jesus promised heaven to the thief on the cross beside him, who had not been baptized.

In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), a landowner went out in the early morning to hire workers. The workers agreed to work all day for a certain amount of money. Then the landowner hired more workers at various times during the day, including at the very end of the day. The landowner paid all the workers the same amount of money. The workers who worked the longest grumbled when the landowner paid them the same as those who worked only an hour. Jesus finished the parable with these words:

“But [the landowner] answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” (Matthew 20:13-15)

Jesus was saying that God is so generous that He gives Heaven and all its glory to those who accept Jesus in their last moments, just like those who have lived for Jesus all their lives. The lack of baptism does not keep people from heaven.

The other extreme view of baptism is simply that it is not necessary at all. This cannot be true because it would nullify altogether Jesus’s second last command.

The middle of these two extremes is where we find the truth. If there is time and opportunity to be baptized, it is important to do so just as Jesus directed!

Father, I praise You for the gift of salvation through Your Son, Jesus. I will follow and teach Jesus’s command to be baptized after conversion. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.