What is Baptism?
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision. It’s when you proclaim to everyone that you are a Christ Follower! As a wedding ring identifies the husband with his wife, so baptism identifies a Christian with Christ. That identity is with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:3-5 says: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.”
Baptism not only identifies us with Jesus Christ but it also identifies us with His local church. Acts 2:41-42 “And those who accepted his message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Is Baptism for me?
The Bible teaches that Baptism is for anyone who has personally placed their trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior. Baptism does not save or wash away our sins. It is simply an outward expression of an inward decision to trust in Christ as Savior. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, and have not yet been baptized, you should choose to be baptized as soon as you can. Notice above that the Apostles baptized the new believers that very day! Why should I be baptized? There are three Biblical reasons to be baptized:
- Christ commands it. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus says “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
- Christ was our example. Matthew 3:13, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.”(ESV)
- Believers in the Bible practiced it. “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41, ESV)
What if I am not baptized?
If you have been truly saved, then not being baptized will not make you less so. But, while baptism is not a requirement for salvation, it is an important first step of obedience to Christ. You are missing the blessing of the testimony I could have through my public identification with Him. If you have no desire to be baptized, perhaps you should ask yourself, why.
The best thing for you to do as a new believer in Jesus Christ is to start out on the right step…the true next step…of being baptized to demonstrate your trust in Jesus Christ! You never know who is watching and what your testimony will mean to their life!
When should I be baptized?
In the Bible, baptism always took place right after the person received Christ. In Acts 16:30-33, Peter was asked, “Sirs what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved-you and your household. Then he spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all others in his house. At that hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed their wounds, and then immediately he and all of his household were baptized.”
So, keep watch for our next baptism service so that you can share what God has done in your life with everyone!