When Should We Be Baptized?

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When Should We Be Baptized?

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How soon was Paul baptized after God called him?

"And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

After Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, He sent to him a man named Ananias who spoke the words above that Paul might regain his sight, be baptized and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17-18). Paul was baptized immediately.

Sometimes people delay baptism because they think they must first become perfect. Others think they have not learned enough. But such reasoning is incorrect. The Scriptures record many examples of people who, when they heard the truth of God explained, saw their need to be baptized immediately (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12-38; Acts 16:30-33; Acts 18:8).

Being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit are the beginning of a new life in Christ. We should request baptism as soon as possible after repenting. Once we understand that our previous way of life needs to be changed and we sincerely want to change it, we must have God's help to go forward. We receive that help by being baptized and receiving His Spirit.

With whom should we counsel for baptism?

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" (Romans 10:14-15).

Since baptism is one of most important actions we can ever take in this life, we should be sure to counsel with a minister who is truly "sent" by God—a minister who faithfully teaches and practices keeping all of God's commandments and correctly understands the teachings of the Scriptures.