I am currently taking a course over the book of Romans for my degree and part of the class requirements are forum posts concerning certain topics followed by replies to the posts others have made. This week questions came up regarding baptism and whether it was essential. If firmly believe that it is and will be happy to share scripture as to why I hold that belief.
This morning, however I lay in bed and realized there is a bigger issue at hand when someone tries to debate baptism, or any other commandment of God for that matter: authority.
Can I put out a thought to consider. Do we really believe the great commission Jesus gave in Matt. 28:18-30? “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus Himself said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” If Jesus has all authority how much does that leave for anyone else. He is the God and ruler of all, He gave His life for us and founded His church which He commands us to follow His way. It is all His and it is a matter of trusting His authority.
He told them upon the truth that He has all authority to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” If He commanded that all nations were to be baptized who gives us the right or the authority to question it. Where is any human’s authority to say it isn’t necessary. How are we allowed to say that a person does not have to obey a direct command from our Lord, who we claim to believe has all authority to tell us what to do and how to live.
Then He finished it by saying, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;” Is baptism a direct command from Jesus? Yes, verse 19 He directly commanded it. If we are to teach people to observe all things He has commanded, how can we say there is any exception? How can we claim any authority to say, well if they don’t do that one part it will be okay in the end with Jesus because they believed and confessed His name. If they don’t do all aren’t they breaking the command?
Consider that along with these words:
James 2:10 “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.“
Rev. 22:18-19 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.“
If we break one part of the law we are guilty of it all? And if we take away from God’s word, God will take away our part of the blessings He promised? Why would we even want to question the authority or the command of Jesus? Why is the issue of baptism even debated, Jesus commanded it, shouldn’t that be enough?
It takes me back to a very deliberate tactic used in Gen 3 where Satan made Eve question just one part of God’s command. All he added was one word and it was enough to change everything. What are we trying to change?