“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).
To wait before getting baptized is like saying a baby should never start walking until he is certain that he will never fall. A Christian is a newborn in Christ. This is why the experience of conversion is called “the new birth.” The ugly, sinful past no longer exists for a child of God. A person’s sinful past is forgiven and forgotten by God at conversion. We begin the Christian life as babies, rather than adults, and God judges us on our attitude and the trend of our life, rather than on a few slips that we may experience as new Christians.
A new believer in Jesus should want to be baptized as soon as possible. After the apostle Philip taught the Ethiopian eunuch “the good news about Jesus,” and “as they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’” (Acts 8: 35–36). Right away, they stopped the chariot, and Philip baptized him.
There is no need for people today to stagger along under heavy loads of guilt and shame. This contamination and burden is so devastating to the human personality that people will go to almost any length to achieve a sense of forgiveness and cleansing. Why wait? Just come to Christ who offers the help and delivery from all guilt. He says to all who approach Him, “I will be thou clean” (Matthew 8:3). Not only does He cleanse, but He also delivers us from the old nature of sin and gives us a new nature and total victory “thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
In His service,