What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.
It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.
Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
I have run a across a very sad thing; there are those within the church on earth who have not been baptized! How does this happen? How is it that a believer has not received the Sacrament of Baptism?
I've heard a few reasons. Mostly, it has come down to embarrassment over not having been baptized earlier, as a younger person. Those who have not been baptized; yet, are within the church, receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion, will rarely just tell you that they are not. You will have to ask them.
I first ran across this years ago when I was working on membership rosters and the official congregation records. We were missing information that should have been in the books: things like birth and baptismal dates that would have been registered decades earlier. I thought that this might be a good reason to do some extra home visits and get to know some of the congregation a little better. A very elderly woman whom I regularly visited in a nursing home was on the list for missing baptismal dates. When I asked her where and when she'd been baptized, she was relieved that I had asked her about it. No one else ever had. She confessed that she had never been baptized. When she was a child, they had a circuit pastor, who normally did baptisms during hay making season. As a child, she had been in the fields working with her family when the pastor came around. After she got older and got more active in the congregation no one asked her about her baptism and she was a bit embarrassed to admit that she hadn't previously been baptized. That's the short version of a very long story. Ultimately, she received the Sacrament of Baptism in the nursing home with her children and grandchildren around her about a week before she died.
This was not a lone incident. Most I've encountered, were then baptized. A few have declined to receive this gift from God.
We are to go and teach and baptize so that others might come to faith and be assured that they have received forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation. The mission field is huge. It begins within our own congregations. Do not assume that someone is saved just because they attend worship once or twice a year or even every Sunday. Do not assume that they know Jesus. Do not assume that they have received the Sacrament of Baptism. Proclaim the Good News to all people and encourage them to receive this life saving gift from God. And... don't forget to tell them about the benefit of Baptism, a gift from God for them.
God's Peace - Pr. J