Is Jesus not our Example for Christian living? Being that He is and that He Himself was baptized (immersed in water), I think it would behoove us to do the same.
Jesus was baptized because He was carrying out the will of the Father. Stressing the importance of that, He said that those who do not do the Father's will cannot enter heaven (Matt. 7:21).
So He's made it clear concerning the Father's desire. He wants us to be baptized. That's because Jesus says that we can only be born again by water and the Spirit (John 3: 5). Then, in Acts 2: 37-39, are these inspired instructions: "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins."
Of course, Jesus didn't need baptism to wash away sin. He was sinless. To me, His baptism served a twofold purpose: (1) a demonstration of commitment and (2) as a means of imputation.
Commitment: Baptism is a required symbolic act that publicly expresses a believer's dedication to Jesus. It's much like the expressions of promise and responsibility publicly made in the marriage ceremony. To be baptized, in my opinion, is to be officially wed to Christ by the power and authority of God's word.
Imputation: Mark 16: 16 says, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that doesn't believe shall be damned." However, notice that it doesn't say, "He that believes and is not baptized shall be damned." That's because there are circumstances in which a believer can't be baptized; for example, on a deathbed, on death row, or somehow being physically incapable. In cases like that, I believe Jesus' baptism is credited to them.
Obviously, baptism is a command of God. It is He who has related it to salvation. Therefore, the issue shouldn't be taken lightly.
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