Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Speak Louder than Words
by Travis Bookout
Christians are called to be vocal. Confession, evangelism, preaching, and teaching are all examples of vocal Christianity. But the Bible also speaks of silent actions. These silent actions can say an awful lot. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are two examples of loud, public proclamations that we make as Christians, without even opening our mouths.
Proclaiming the Lord’s Death:
Communion, the Eucharist, the Master’s Dinner, or whatever term you use to describe it, this is a proclamation made by Christians. When Christians gather on the Lord’s Day to share in the Lord’s Meal, we are really saying something. We are saying that we are all united through the death of the Messiah. We are saying thank you for our forgiveness through the death of our Savior. We are saying that Jesus is Lord. Every time that we gather and take the Lord’s Supper, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Appealing to God:
In baptism, without even opening our mouths, we are speaking to God. We are making “an appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Peter 3:21). We all have a need for forgiveness, cleansing, healing, and the ability to move forward. When we are baptized, we are asking God to forgive us and cleanse our conscience.
Sometimes we need a healthy reminder that God has cleansed our conscience. We have no reason to continue feeling the strain of guilt from sins previously committed. At baptism, they are washed away and God gives you a good and clear conscience.
Calling on the Name of the Lord:
The splash caused by immersion into water is not that loud. However, the message proclaimed is deafening. In baptism we are not only requesting a good conscience, but we are “calling on the name of the Lord.” Peter preached, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21). In that same sermon he preached, “God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36).
When the crowds heard Peter say they must call on the name of the Lord, and that Jesus is the Lord, they asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). You might be thinking, “He already told you. Call on His name.” But clearly something deeper is meant.
We don’t call on Him simply by saying “Lord” or the name “Jesus” (Matthew 7:21; Mark 1:24). Peter described how to call on the name of the Lord when he said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Later on when Paul was instructed to be baptized, he was told, “Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16).
When you are baptized in His name, you are calling on His name. That is not something you do with words, or a prayer, but by actions. By your actions you are declaring that Jesus is Lord, and the Lord of your life. At baptism Jesus becomes your Lord and Master, the Ruler of your life.
In the Lord’s Supper and baptism, your silence says more than words ever could. By your actions you are proclaiming, appealing, and calling. And God is listening.