The Bible, a compass that leads us to God, teaches us to be baptised immediately. It is because we are sinners who need urgent emancipation from sins to avoid suffering the agony of death. Baptism is a ceremony through which we are granted forgiveness of our sins. For this reason, the Bible teaches us that we should never delay baptism, but be baptised immediately.
Forgiveness of Sins and being Baptised Immediately
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Act 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”
Since we bear the payment for our sins, which is punishment in hell, until the moment we are freed from it through baptism, do you think we should risk the consequences of delaying it? The will of God, shown in every example in the Bible, is for us to receive baptism immediately.
Let us confirm this through the teachings of the Bible.
Baptism is Immediate
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
We do not know what our future is, so we cannot boast about tomorrow. Hypothetically speaking, if we are detected with a dangerous skin cancer mole and need to undergo surgery immediately to survive, would you take the necessary operation advised by a specialist doctor? Absolutely and without any hesitation, you would follow the doctor’s instructions to survive physically. It is the same spiritually.
A parable of a rich man
Jesus also taught us the destiny of those who delay preparing for salvation, through a parable about a rich man.
Luke 12:16 The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest; he thought to himself, ‘What should I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.’ And I will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain stored up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.
The rich man above was busy for his material future, putting off preparing for his salvation. While he assumed that his tomorrow would still come, his life was demanded from him that very night. Many people nowadays work hard focusing on their physical lives just like the rich man above. However, dangers are all around us, all the time; and death can come upon any of us suddenly, not only upon those who are old or ill. How can we know when our time has come?
Ecc 8:8 As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death.
Nobody can know when they will die. That is why we should not delay baptism but be baptised immediately.
Biblical Examples of Immediate Baptism
Throughout the Bible that is written to teach us, we can see many examples (especially in the book of Acts) of giving baptism immediately, and many wise characters receiving baptism without delay, regardless of time or place, circumstance or position.
Apostle Paul, who always followed the example of Jesus, baptised immediately.
1 Cor 11.1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Acts 16:25-33 About midnight… The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas…. Sirs, what must I do to be saved?… They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved- you and your household… At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptised.
Acts 16:13-15 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home…
The jailer and his family received baptism through Apostle Paul even in the middle of the night (Acts 16:25). Lydia and her household were baptised at once when they heard the message from Paul. We can be certain that being baptised immediately is a teaching of Jesus Christ.
Apostle Philip who learned directly from Jesus also gave people baptism immediately.
Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptised?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into water and Philip baptised him.
Apostle Peter gave baptism immediately to the Gentile family of Cornelius who decided to believe in Jesus, emphasising that the decision to receive baptism cannot be altered by anyone else.
Acts 10:46-48 Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have” So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ…
Have we understood the importance of baptism and the urgency of being baptised immediately? Nothing should stop us or delay us from receiving forgiveness of sins through baptism.
Acts 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.
Let us follow the teaching of the Bible and receive baptism in the name of the Saviour immediately.