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I recently had someone refer to their baptism as “an insurance policy they took out when they were six months old.”

I believe this to be a troubling way to consider your infant baptism. The fact of the matter is that your well-meaning, loving parents had you baptized based on their understanding of religious traditions. However, they can’t make a decision for your salvation.

Your salvation is not an “insurance policy” that can be purchased on your behalf. The New Testament describes a different path to God.

Personal faith is what matters

It is a genuine faith in Christ that saves us–a clear and reoccurring pronouncement in the New Testament.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8)

Faith is not a decision that can be made for you; it’s a critical decision that transforms your life–eternally.  It’s a personal commitment, a decision that only you can make.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Declaring with one’s mouth and believing in one’s heart is a challenging proposition for a baby. This verse describes the acts of a mature person, choosing to believe and declare that belief.

Outward Acts

No outward act save us.
Some churches have people recite “the sinners prayer.” Though an excellent prayer, the act of saying it can not save a person.
Some people decide to get baptized as an adult.
We do these baptisms all the time at Life Bridge. It’s an important and Biblical act of obedience to Christ’s command, but if unaccompanied by an authentic belief/faith in Christ, it’s just getting wet.
Salvation comes, not from an act, but from a genuine belief in Christ.
Baptism is a demonstration of this mature decision being made. It is and outward reflection on a very personal commitment to follow Jesus.

Does it really matter?

How important is this decision? I say confidently and with all the support of Scripture: This is the most important decision of your life.
You may have been raised or familiar with a tradition that teaches that your salvation occurs at the moment of baptism, which would, of course, include those baptized as infants. These traditions often hold that the act of baptism removes “original sin.” Naturally, this might lead you to assume that their salvation was secured as and infant and have no need to pursue a fully committed faith in Christ.
This thinking is the real danger. There is no such thing as an “insurance policy” for salvation.

Should I be Baptized Again?

Baptism is a significant step in this saving decision, but only if it’s deeply rooted in faith. Baptism, as it is described in the Bible, is accompanied by this kind of faith. If you have not been baptized with this accompanying decision and faith in Christ, then I would argue you haven’t been baptized and should consider taking this important step.
Review these scriptures on baptism and notice how 1.) they all assume a decision is being made and 2.) how vital a faith in Christ is to that baptism.

  • Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, 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. (Acts 2:38)
  • What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:1-4)
  • Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)

The Big Question

Have you made a decision to follow Christ with all your faith and life?

About the Author: Grant Agler
Grant was our resident farmboy. He grew up in the cornfields of northwest Nebraska. He spent his early days living far from God. As Grant says, "I gave God the middle finger and didn't really care about faith at all." As a young man, he became convinced that God was real. He gave his life to Jesus and experienced God's amazing grace that previously made no sense to him. After experiencing that grace, Grant felt God calling him to teach the message of the gospel. Over the past 20 years, he has been preaching and teaching. Grant, his wife, Bethany, and their four children moved to Michigan in 2011, and he joined the 2|42 team in 2019. Grant is always good for a laugh, but more importantly, he explains biblical concepts in ways anyone can understand. We wish Grant and his family all the best as they start their new ministry adventures in Colorado in summer 2023.

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