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I’m Not Baptized


I’m 15 years old, and I’m not baptized. Everyone seems to be jumping all over me about it--someone even said I was awful. Now I’m building up a grudge against being baptized. Do you blame me? What should I do?

Steve Answers:

When I was 15 years old, I didn’t appreciate anyone telling me what to do—about anything

When I was 15 years old, I didn’t appreciate anyone telling me what to do–about anything. And when they acted as if they were the voice of God for me, it made me even more reluctant to respond. So I identify with what you’re going through.

Take a wild trip with me through your imagination. Let’s pretend that you’re an adult, and you see a teenager at your church. You realize that even though young people grow up going to church, that doesn’t mean they’ve chosen Jesus for themselves.

You want that teen to be in heaven. And you know that the only way they’ll be in heaven is if they choose Jesus for themselves. So you assume, If the teen is baptized and accepts Jesus, they will be in heaven.

Once that’s settled, you quit worrying about the teen. But you might bug them if you see them doing something you don’t think young people headed for heaven should be doing.

Now, here’s a question about your assumption: Does baptism save teens–or anybody else? Of course not. Only Jesus does (see Acts 4:12). However, baptism does signify that a person, regardless of their age, has chosen to end their life of selfishness and start a new one centered around Jesus.

Paul said it this way: "Have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives" (Romans 6:3, 4, NLT).*

Now back to your situation. I’m curious to know why you haven’t been baptized. I’m not trying to force you to be baptized. I’m just wondering if you’ve chosen Jesus to be the center of your life.

If you haven’t, don’t just go through the motions to please somebody else. It has to be your choice. If you aren’t friends with Jesus, it doesn’t make sense to get baptized.

But if you’re already friends with Jesus, then I need to ask you if you’re ready to commit your life to Him. If you are, then go for baptism. If you aren’t, then continue to grow in your relationship with Him.

Baptism, like a wedding, is a symbol that means a lot. Some people may say that a baptism or a wedding is no big deal. But most people would disagree. Sure, you can just

go through the motions, but why play around with commitments that are so special?

At 15 you’re old enough to make some major decisions, especially when it comes to choosing Jesus to be the center of your life. Making that decision will actually help you make all your other decisions too! But whether or not you decide to follow Jesus is up to you–no matter what anyone says. 

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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