WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is a symbol of what happened to you when you accepted Christ as Savior. It is an outward expression of what Jesus Christ has done for you on the inside. You ‘died’ to the world and are now experiencing new life in Christ. Baptism is a way to show others you now live for Him (it’s like going public). What was between you and God now becomes public knowledge. It’s like saying, “I’m following Jesus Christ and I want everyone to know it.”
It is representative of a cleansing or a washing away of sin (which again took place at the time of salvation). “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” 1 Peter 3:21
It is an important step of obedience to Scripture. In the Bible, as people came to faith in Christ, they were baptized. That sequence of events is the same throughout the scriptures: first people profess faith in Jesus Christ, and then they are baptized. It is called a believer’s baptism, a baptism that happens after one becomes a believer in Jesus Christ.
IS BAPTISM FOR ME?
The bible teaches that baptism is for anyone who has personally accepted Christ as Savior. Baptism does NOT save or wash away sins. It is simply an outward expression of an inward decision to accept Christ. If you have accepted Christ and have never been baptized, you should choose to be baptized as soon as you can!
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
There are three biblical reasons to be baptized.
Christ commands it.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20
Christ was our example
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” Matthew 3:13
Believers in the Bible practiced it.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41
HOW SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
The word baptize literally means to plunge or to dunk. The Bible teaches that you should be baptized in water by immersion rather than sprinkling. Because baptism is a picture of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, only immersion correctly pictures this. John 1:26 says, “John answered them, saying, I baptize with water…”
Mark 1:9-10 says, “And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:”
Acts 8:38 says, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
In the Bible, baptism always took place right after salvation. Rather than taking a lengthy course before you can be baptized, you should choose to be baptized as soon as you can after your salvation decision.
Acts 16:30-33 says,“And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”
WHAT IF I AM NOT BAPTIZED?
While baptism is not required for salvation, it is an important step of obedience to Christ. The Christian who refuses to be baptized could be compared to a wife who refuses her wedding ring. How can my relationship with Christ start off right if I refuse to follow Him and if I am ashamed of Him before others? By not being baptized, I am disobeying Christ and actually telling Him that I am ashamed that He is my Savior. I am missing the blessing of committing myself to Christ through obedience and losing the testimony I must have through my public identification with Him.
James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
John 8:31 says, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”
John 15:14 says, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”