Baptism is for your benefit, for your full assurance, for your gifts of the Spirit, for your forgiveness of sins. Baptism is an outward sign of inner repentance. You are showing by your actions that you mean business, that you are sincere. You are showing God in heaven that you are willing to lay down your old life of sin and pick up your new life of righteousness. You are saying you intend to live a new life of doing right things. You are going to live by God’s Ways and forsake your ways of the flesh which are not good.
The Apostle Paul told how to do this. He said, “Repent, turn to God, and perform works for repentance” (Acts 26:20). You see, doing good works in Jesus Christ’s name for the glory of the Father is how you overcome (Col. 3:17; Rev. 2:26). Jesus says, the Father in heaven is glorified by good works and this is how a true disciple lets his light shine before men (Matt. 5:16).
When John the Baptist was asked by the people what they should do in regard to repentance, he did not hesitate to give them a sound example of good works (Luke 3:10-11). “Bring forth fruit meant for repentance,” he said. That fruit is good works done for God’s glory (Col. 1:10).
Good works are not necessary for salvation because salvation is a free gift that could never be earned (Eph. 2:8-9). But the rest of the message, left out by so many, is that good works are necessary for repentance, for overcoming, for glorifying God daily, for edification, purification, for instruction in godliness, and we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10). Jesus is purifying a peculiar people for Himself who are zealous and on fire or hot for good works (Titus 2:14). Jesus is making disciples who will do greater works than He did (John 14:12).
God can’t stand those who are lukewarm for good deeds (Rev. 3:15-16; 2:2-5; Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13). Since Jesus is going to repay us according to our deeds, don’t you think we had better start doing some good deeds (Rev. 2:23; 20:12; 22:12; Matt. 16:27)? After all, if the righteous, who practice righteousness daily for God’s glory, are saved with difficulty, what is going to happen to those who deny Christ because they live disobedient and detestable lives and remain worthless for good works (1 Peter 4:18; 1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10, 18; Titus 1:16; 2:7; 3:8; Eph. 2:10)?
God wants more examples like Dorcas, who was abounding with deeds of kindness and charity which she continually did (Acts 9:36; 10:2, 38). He wants us to become obedient to the faith once delivered (Acts 6:7). He wants us to obey what he commands and receive His Spirit (Acts 5:32).
Have you heard this before? If you have, are you zealous for good works? Isn’t it time to repent and believe the gospel and not man and be baptized (Acts 3:26, James 2:22; Matt 28:19-20)?