Bill Cosby is one of the funniest guys around. His exaggerated stories of his youth and family are incredibly funny. In one of his routines, he says the word “obey” is pig-latin for “Bo.” I can just hear him saying it mimicking a bass voice, “oh – bay.”
The key to all salvation elements, whether it is belief, confession, repentance or baptism is this, are we going to obey Jesus? That is where it’s at, no matter what understanding anyone has about baptism’s role in salvation. Whether baptism is the expression of salvation received or when salvation is received (as I believe the Bible teaches) it is still a matter of obedience to Jesus Christ and his teaching through the apostles.
Let’s start with Jesus. When he was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23) Jesus showed up where John the Baptist was immersing (baptizing) and asked John to immerse him. John objected. He knew Jesus was the Son of God and he asked Jesus to baptize him. It made sense since Jesus is the “The One” that he should baptize John. But Jesus objected. He told John to baptize him to “fulfill all righteousness.” Luke 3:21-22; Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-13 record Jesus’ baptism.
Matthew 3:15, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” What’s that mean?
Obviously it has to do with what is right. And we can see that it’s about what is right in God’s eyes. What is right is obeying God’s will which is always right and righteous. God apparently wanted Jesus to be baptized.
Let’s beg the question here. Did Jesus need to be baptized? Yes. John’s baptism was simply about being repentant for sins and preparing people for the coming of the Messiah. Of course Jesus never sinned, though on the cross he became sin for us to pay for our sins, but never committed sin. He had to be baptized to obey God.
Most people will tell you Jesus’ baptism was an example. Well it was, but I’m not ‘sure it is exactly as most people believe or explain it. Jesus example was a matter of obedience, obeying God.
If we learn nothing from Jesus’ example, we should at the very least learn to obey God!