Didn't Jesus call all believers to baptize? Why don't we?

Hello brothers and sisters (saints!)

I have a question/admonishment, perhaps, to ask in sincerity.
It seems very clear in the Bible that those who can baptize people are not just pastors and shepherds, but all believers. Correct me if I’m wrong? I want to provoke Biblical thinking here and hopefully fruitfulness in all of us living out our call to discipleship.

There’s been much said about how pastors and shepherds do not “carry the church. they lead it.” This is Biblical. they are called to shepherd God’s people to go out and do the work of the ministry, such as going out and making disciples. I think we are seeing more preachers preach this now, which is great, to show that Biblical everything should not be put on your pastor. the pastor’s job is to equip you and I!

If we want to make that clearer though, I think that the church should go back to equipping all saints to go ahead and baptize people when they come to faith in Jesus Christ. Here’s why:

I believe this is God’s will and God’s heart, for Jesus told His disciples to do it.
We too are Jesus’ disciples.
And if we are going to take the call and make the great commission our own, as is often preached, we need to preach the whole of Jesus’ words in the very great commission too.

And this is what he said in Matthew 28:16-20: 16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him ; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up 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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

The phrase “make disciples of all nations” I feel, at least in the general Western church, are separated in practice and in preaching from the words “baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” As in only the pastors, from what I’ve seen, do it.
Though I think I will be encouraged by your responses in what I learn as I’m sure in many of your experiences and churches I will see that you do actually do this and baptize people.

I think we generally focus on the “Teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded” and trying to make disciples, but I think it should be taught more that believers and not just pastors and leaders can baptize others.

In my humble opinion, this is important.
So then, I seek thoughts and reflections on this. As good evangelism is teaching and practicing the whole of God’s Word and God’s counsel.I think the western church and we need to start learning to baptize people and live out the whole of Jesus’ commands. Jesus even said that He who loves Hill keep His commandments.

I intend this only as a conviction, as I am coming to think more about this myself and feel convicted to do it and have not baptized someone yet, but do focus on evangelism on sharing the Gospel and teaching about Jesus’ commands.

Bless you all!!!

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Good morning, Alex! I to have often thought about that same thing myself and also noticed that it is only church leaders and pastors that do the baptizing. Not sure how it ended up that way or why it is that way, but I’m guessing that there aren’t a whole lot of believers who are out evangelizing and going out into all the world to make disciples either. Many are too afraid to even do that. So maybe that may be the case that if they’re not even evangelizing, then why would they feel the need to baptize. Just a thought. But you are the first person I’ve ever heard to voice that question or concern. It will be interesting to here what others have to say about it.

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Good morning! Wow, that is actually an excellent point. I won’t even give the stats I heard on those who actually evangelize, because it is less than 10%. Wake up, Church! Overall, I have sought to not stop doing this since I believed. Whether it’s tracts or sharing my testimony. I love the opportunity and privilege to. It’s a privilege. Not a drag.

On top of that, those who are interested in evangelizing think they need to know “enough” before they can start. No, just share your testimony and the Gospel. It’s simple. God does the hard stuff.

I pray this can spark others into action and thought.
We do not need to have Bible college qualifications and program certifications to go ahead and do what Jesus has asked us. As I am writing this I have a preacher on in the background, and you’ll never guess, but he just actually randomly spoke on this similar area and topic and I feel that God, through the preacher, confirmed the word we are talking about in an interesting way. But really, those in ministry like pastors and preachers have a great call on their lives, but they often rightly understand their task isn’t to carry the church but to lead it.

God will confirm His Word. This question I am proposing I really believe is Jesus’ clear word.
Let us move out in authority and power, not reducing church to “churchism and intellectualism and following principles.” More like demon crushing power and holiness and moving ON His Word implanted in us!

:slight_smile:

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This is such a great question. Thank you for asking it.

To give a direct answer to the question. Yes, we are called to make disciples and to baptize them as they accept Christ. This is the great commission in Matthew 28 that you referenced. This is a command that all Christians have been called to. If we are not living out the great commission we are missing a huge part of the Christian Faith. And yes, all Christian should be making disciples and baptizing them or encouraging them to be baptized.

There has been a lot of tradition and church practices that have been put in place over the years around baptism. Some good and some bad. But, I will say biblically, the call of Jesus is for all of us to baptize our disciples as they come to faith.

I think it is important to honor some church traditions around baptism. But, at the heart of it, we want to be obedient to Christ.

In the end, it is not that important about who is doing the baptism, or where the baptism is taking place but why that person is getting baptized.

So I encourage you, go make disciples, teach people about Jesus, and as they come into that relationship with him, rejoice with them and baptize them.

Grace and Peace,
Nicholas

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I realize that many deem baptism as an unimportant doctrine, but the Bible is clear that Jesus commanded it.

In my opinion,1 Corinthians one of the most twisted scriptures used to denigrate baptism however I think it addresses your question:

1 Cor 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized [k]in my name. 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

Paul is NOT saying baptism is unnecessary; but rather that He is glad he did not baptize to give reasons for others to say, “I am of Paul!”. The Corinthian Christians seem to have factions partly on the person who baptized them.

The power of baptism is in the Holy Spirit and not in the person baptizing or the person being baptized. The power of salvation is the sacrifice made for us by our LORD and SAVIOR.

Another example of baptism NOT being in the power of the one baptizing can be demonstrated in Jesus’ baptizing. Many people forget that Jesus’ disciples baptized while Jesus preached.
John 4:1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),

Finally, consider the fact that all Christians are priests.

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Christians are not divided into laity and clergy. We are all priests. This is not to say that there are people gifted by the Holy Spirit with different abilities.

Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ

I agree we all may baptize believers. I love it when parents baptize children and believers are baptized by the one who taught them.

May God continue to bless us to serve each other and our discussion of His will.

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Amen!! So glad to read your response man. We follow Christ and honor some traditions, but at the heart of it, as you said, we are obedient to Christ. One of my favorite authors, John Bevere said this about obedience. “Faith and obedience are inseparable because obedience is evidence of true faith.”

Ever read “bait of satan” or “driven by eternity” by him?

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Wow, thank you for your response! I’m greatly encouraged to see you and others here affirming the Scriptural mandate and explaining the reasons from different angles. I would like to being doing this, prayerfully, when discipleing. It all adds up to following Jesus and the simplicity of His commands! AS WELL AS the joy in doing so!
I love how you pointed out that parents may baptize their children (not talking about babies) and how others are baptized by the ones they were taught by. There’s connection and a great bond in that place. And how much greater joy!

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Alex, thanks for the book references. I have not read those. I have a long list, but I will add those to them. Obedience is so huge… Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” So not only is obedience evidence of our faith, but it is an expression of our love we have for him. How are we daily, showing love to Jesus? By obeying his commands. Not out of a legalistic system of religion trying to earn anything. But out of a heart of love for our King because of what he has done on our behalf.

Grace and Peace to you brother!
Nicholas

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Hello Alex, I love all the insight and input that many have posted. I gained much reading the threads, thanks for posting the question. Yes Jesus did tell us to baptize.

Many also pointed out that reaching those we have been commissioned to evangelize.is the main goal.
As far as scripture goes Jesus did not baptize only His disciples, though there is some who say otherwise.

In regards to baptism this passage has impacted many people from the beginning believing the appointed leader is who should be doing the baptizing. Which in most cases in our day is the Pastor.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
Matthew 3:13‭-‬14 NKJV

Hope this passage and thought, sheds some light as to why.
Mike

I’m not saying that baptism isn’t important, or that it’s not mandated from God, but I am wondering, what is the purpose of baptism? Thanks for your input!

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I respect that you are a reader too! You are right, it is about our heart for the King and our Lordship to Him! Great exhortation.

Grace and peace to you too Bro!

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Thanks for your response. So glad you too gained valuable insight from reading.
This is a good question. I would have to respond to this with another Scripture. Jesus had to be baptized by John to fulfill the Scriptures. Correct me if I’m wrong.
And look what Jesus says about John:
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

In the Kingdom of God, we have a different dynamic of leadership.
We are all priests and leaders now in different capacities
:slight_smile:

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Thank you for this awesome question. To be honest, the more I learn about its importance, the more amazed I am. I’ve heard the most beautiful description by one pastor I often listen to. I will try my best to share here:

Baptism should never be diminished. We were BORN into a lie because we were born into sin and that’s never who we were created to be, but it’s how we became when Adam sinned and fell. So we must be born again, as Jesus says in John 3:6.

So when we go down into the waters of baptism we show what we’re PUTTING OFF and dying to, all the things we lived for that were contrary to God. It was all about self.

When we come up we show we come out in the likeness of His resurrection, living to learning and growing in the Truth that we relinquish every “right” except the right to be like Him.

Pay attention to water here.
What’s the FIRST sign of natural birth?
The woman’s water breaks.
We were born into this world the first time but we all must be born again cus’ of sin.
But we can’t crawl back into the womb but we can crawl into God BY FAITH.

In the days of Noah how did God cleanse the earth and save him?
He flooded the earth and drowned out all unrighteousness with water.
What came through the water was the 8 righteous souls that were saved while the unrighteous were swallowed up.

That was a shadow of baptism.
They came out of the wilderness and passed through the Red Sea through water into the promised land.

Jesus is now our promised land and by faith we are saved and show this through crossing over to Jesus through the waters of baptism. This is how I understand it.

Baptism is this sign that takes place that shows truly what’s happening inside us as we die to self and die to being children of Adam and are raised to be children of God.

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Good question @thed64607 - @AO77 has some good thoughts on this too.

Whenever I baptize someone, I precede it by explaining to the congregation something like this:

"The moment Bro. So-and-So (that I’m about to baptize) was saved, the old sinful man he used to be on the inside was dead and buried - and there was simultaneouisly raised up within him a new man - a spiritual man - to take the place of the old.

"God saw that happen on the inside, but men cannot see the inside - men can only see the outside.

“So Bro. So-and-So and I are going to role play for you to see on the outside what God saw on the inside the moment he was saved. That salvation experience was his true ‘baptism by the Spirit’ into the Body of Christ which we’re going to act out for you now.”

I may sometimes point out that he comes into the water one way, and then he turns and goes out in a different direction. He descends into the water, he ascends out of it. He goes down dirty, he comes up clean. All of these illustrate what happens at salvation.

I hope these thoughts will help answer what you were wondering about.

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I’m not saying that baptism isn’t important, or that it’s not mandated from God, but I am wondering, what is the purpose of baptism? Thank you all for your input!

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