This past Sunday, our church celebrated as five individuals got baptized. As part of the celebration, we made sure to repeatedly remind ourselves that baptism is a symbol of what has already happened in the lives of these individuals. Each one of them has already repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Because of this repentance and faith, they are saved. So, why even bother getting baptized at all?
Well, first of all, Jesus commanded it! After His resurrection, our Lord commanded His disciples to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). There is only one command in this Great Commission: “make disciples.” The way that we make disciples is by teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded us, including obeying His command to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. So, we get baptized in obedience to Jesus’ command.
It would be enough to say, “God has commanded it, so I will obey it.” God is our Lord, so we will do what He says. Yet, God has graciously given us reasons for why He has made many of His commands, and such is the case with baptism. When we are baptized, we are identifying with Christ—with His death, burial and resurrection; we are declaring to the world that we are followers of Christ. Baptism is the public declaration of our private faith.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and you have never been baptized as a believer, then you are living in rebellion to our Lord’s command. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ who has been baptized, then you must continue to make this public declaration of your private faith. You do not need to continue getting baptized, but you do need to continue declaring Jesus Christ as Lord. That is the reason that we are still on this earth: to serve as witnesses to Jesus Christ, especially to those who have never before heard of Him.
Are you a faithful witness to Jesus Christ? If you are, then you can join with David as he rejoices in his own witness to God in this psalm. Please read Psalm 40:9-10.
The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” Today, when we refer to the “good news,” we are talking about the good news of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins, being buried, and raising again from the dead, proving that He is indeed God, with the power to forgive us of our sins. That is good news!
In David’s day, the “good news” was also of how God delivered His people from utter destruction. But, since Jesus had not yet come, God used various means to save His people.
David gladly reminds the congregation of this good news of deliverance. He will not be silent. He will not let his faith be a private matter that he is too intimidated to share in public. He will not simply live in a godly manner and hope that others will ask about his faith. He will literally open his mouth and speak.
Of what will he speak? “I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation.” His boasting is in the Lord. It is the Lord’s faithfulness and the Lord’s salvation of which David will boast all day long. He will praise the Lord in his heart, but not only in his heart. He will also praise the Lord around his family at home, around crowds in public, around other believers at worship, and around his co-workers at work. Wherever he goes, he will let others know of the great work that God has done to deliver him from evil.
May we follow in his footsteps! May we always be willing to tell the good news of deliverance. Through Jesus Christ, we are free! My brothers and sisters in Christ shared the good news through baptism this past Sunday. May we continue to share the good news through faithful witnessing every day.
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