The Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20 begins with the declaration of Jesus’ power and authority to send forth his disciples into the world:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

We are empowered to make disciples of all people, to baptize them and to teach them the Gospel according to Jesus. Our mission is premised upon obedience to Jesus in the way we make disciples which includes baptism and apprenticeship with Jesus. We are called to baptize believers in the name of the Triune God. We are also called to train and to equip believers in living the Jesus life.

Growing up in a Christian family, I received instruction in the Bible, participated in the local church and engaged in spiritual practices. I was baptized as an infant by my grandfather who was a Presbyterian minister in Singapore. At the age of 13, I made a personal commitment to give my life to Jesus and was confirmed in the local Presbyterian church. After many years of ministry and service, I was invited to undergo baptism by immersion. I am grateful for the exemplary faith of my parents and grandparents. But I also felt a strong desire as an adult believer to submit to water baptism. My journey of faith in Jesus has been blessed with many sacred companions who guided me and encouraged me through the years. When I received baptism by immersion as an adult in 2001, it was a declaration of my personal faith in Jesus and a renewal of my heart’s commitment to give my life to Jesus. Unlike my infant baptism, it was a personal decision acted out in faith and in conscious obedience to Jesus.

Let us recognize the importance of Jesus’ commission and the privilege of water baptism for believers. Jesus has given us the authority to make disciples and to baptize each believer in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We are called to teach this command of Jesus and to ensure that every believer in our congregation understands the meaning and significance of water baptism.