Why baptism is not an option

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For some church leaders, baptism is an option for new disciples. Not for me.

I led a young man to Christ a year ago and began taking him through the Seven Commands of Christ.

Study one: Repent and believe. All good.

Study two: Be baptised. His response —

"Do you mean I would have to be a real Christian? If I get baptised would I have to stop sleeping around, and tell everyone I was a Christian?"

I hadn't raised either of those issues with him. I just took him to the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and told him Jesus commanded his disciples to be baptised.

Gary wasn't willing to learn to obey Jesus' command to be baptized. The issue isn't just baptism, it's learning to obey. That's why baptism is important and why every church planting movement I know of baptizes new believers without delay.

Why? Because that is the clear command of Christ and the only NT pattern.

Baptism is not a reward for Christian maturity. You don't wait until someone is "ready" or "mature." That is the antithesis of what baptism is all about.