by Darla Noble
He said to them, “Go into all the world, and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.”
Imagine you are sweaty, tired, dirty, and incredibly thirsty after working in the hot sun all day. But you have nothing to drink, so you head for the nearest place you can find to get something. Before long you see a gas station with vending machines out front. You pull in, hurry over to the machine, put your money in and wait for the bottle of ice-cold water to fall into the ‘hole’. But nothing happens. You wait a bit longer. Still nothing. And then it hits you—you didn’t push the button! You’ve gotta push the button so the machine will know which item needs to be released.
A lot of people are standing in front of the ‘vending machine’ of salvation. They believe Jesus is God’s Son, that He died on the cross for our sins, and that Jesus is the key to eternity in heaven. But sadly, many people still haven’t pushed the button, so to speak, to receive the gift of salvation. And that button, Jesus says, is baptism.
It isn’t enough to just believe and want Jesus to save you. It isn’t enough to just ask Jesus into your heart. Jesus clearly demonstrates and says that to invite Him to be your Savior means to accept His entire message, follow Him in all things, and obey Him in all matters.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to set the example for us. Jesus then told us in today’s verse, as well as other places in scripture, that we are to be baptized into Him for the forgiveness of sins and receipt of the Holy Spirit. The immersion of baptism signifies rebirth and the washing away of sin. To believe in Jesus is to believe every word of His and His every command (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; John 3:5; 1st Peter 3;21; Matthew 28:19; Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 4:5).
DO IT: If you have not been baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, spend some time reading today’s verse as well as the other scriptures listed. Let God’s Word speak to your heart.