Have you ever had someone ask, “Do you know Jesus?” Consider a more important question: Does Jesus know you?
The Bible tells us: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). While many people may mistakenly think they know Jesus, Jesus is never mistaken about knowing His own people.
John 10:27 tells us: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Notice the last part of the verse. The true sheep of Jesus hear His voice and follow Him and His word (2 Timothy 3:16,17). In Bible lands, it is a practice to keep different flocks of sheep together overnight for safety purposes, yet the sheep will recognize the sound of their own master’s voice and eagerly follow him at daybreak. The sheep will not respond to a stranger (John 10:4,5).
We become one of Christ’s sheep by first, hearing the gospel (Rom. 10:17; Acts 18:8), responding to it by believing in Jesus as Lord and Christ with all of our heart (Acts 8:37; 18:8), turning from sins in repentance (Acts 2:38; 16:32-33), confessing that belief in Christ (Acts 8:37), and by being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 18:8; 22:16; Romans 6:3-8).
Paul told the Christians at Rome: “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18). When were they made free from past sins? When did they become the servants of righteousness? When they “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered [to them].” This form of doctrine is that which they obeyed when they were baptized into Jesus Christ, which is clearly revealed earlier in Romans 6:3-8: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live withhim.”
Have you been taught the gospel? Have you been baptized for the purpose of being buried into the death of Jesus Christ, putting to death the old man of sin, and having been raised to newness of life in the likeness of His resurrection? If you did this with a heart of understanding what Christ did for you on the cross (with baptism being for remission of yours sins through Christ’s blood), then He knows you. One must also remain faithful to Jesus Christ in order for Him to continue to know you (Matthew 7:21-23).
However, if one just goes through the motions of baptism without the knowledge of its purpose, does Christ know him? Baptism must be done with an understanding heart; it is a responsible decision requiring understanding (Romans 6:17; I Peter 3:21). This is why it is needless and unnecessary to baptize babies and young children. They do not know about sin and are therefore innocent and safe spiritually before God (Matthew 18:3).
Furthermore, if a responsible adult is baptized with the misunderstanding that baptism initiates them into a man-made denominational church or that baptism is merely a follow up to salvation, then his baptism was done in error and he has not obeyed from the heart because he has not been taught properly (Romans 6:3-18). One cannot be taught wrong and baptized right! This is why Apollos was taken aside and taught the way of the Lord more perfectly (Acts 18:25). This is why Paul the apostle commanded some people to be baptized again in the name of Jesus because they had not been taught properly (see Acts 19:1-6).
There are many today who need to be baptized according to the scriptures because they have not obeyed from the heart. Others have been sprinkled or had water poured on them, practices not taught in the New Testament but rather are doctrines of men (Matthew 15:9-13). Bible baptism is immersion of the whole body in water according to Romans 6:3,4 and Colossians 2:12. The word baptism means immersion in the original Bible language.
Does Jesus know you? Are you unsure? The Gardendale church of Christ teaches only what Jesus and His apostles teach us in the New Testament about salvation, worship and all matters involved in following Jesus. We want Jesus to know you. Salvation is paramount to all of us. Please, come visit with us and learn the ways of Christ with us!
— Michael R. Baggett