Baptism, Is It Needed?
Question: “Baptism, what is it, is it needed?”
When we are saved, we are spiritually baptized into Christ. Being baptized in water is a public declaration of our following Christ Jesus symbolically in His death and His rising. Going under the water represents the death of the old self, the water represents cleansing of our sins (Ephesians 5:26, Hebrews 10:22). Rising out of the water represents spiritual rebirth (John 3:5,) and a new life in Jesus. 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 (Romans 6:4).
Why be baptized
- Follow Christ’s example. At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan (Mark 1:9).
- Jesus commands it. Jesus said, Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
- Jesus demonstrated it. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing (John 3:22).
- It publicly demonstrates being a follower of Christ. Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized (Acts 18:8).
- It joins you to Christ. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27).
What does water baptism mean
- It illustrates Jesus’ burial and resurrection. For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ (Colossians 2:12).
- It illustrates our new life in Christ.
- It symbolizes the washing of our sins when we were saved.
- Water baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Being water baptized does not save you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is an outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart. Being publicly baptized announces to the world, “I am not ashamed to be a part of God’s family.” Jesus commanded this act for all of His children.
Why be baptized by immersion
The Greek word baptizes means, "to immerse or dip under water." It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water (Matthew 3:16).
…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water… (Acts 8:38-
Who should be baptized
Every person who believes that Jesus Christ is his or her Lord should be baptized. Those who accepted his message were baptized (Acts 2:41).
When should I be baptized in water
As soon as you have received salvation you are ready for baptism. Those who accepted his message were baptized … that day (Acts 2:41).
While baptism is not essential to salvation, the mandate of baptism is essential to obedience.
Being baptized is a command from God, it is not an option. It is an act that God requires of every believer. Among Jesus' last recorded words on earth were, He that believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16).
Sprinkling infants with water does not baptize them. Being baptized requires an understanding and commitment that an infant has no capacity to undertake. There is no record of infant baptisms in the Bible.
There are examples of baby dedication (1 Samuel 1:11, Luke 2:22). Baby dedication is where the baby is blessed as a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith and seek to instill that faith in them.
Christians who do not follow Jesus in water baptism have a much higher rate of backsliding than those who do. If a person’s walk with God does not start with the most basic act of obedience, they are not likely to be obedient in other areas of their walk.
If you have never been baptized, now is the perfect time to obey the Lord.
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