Baptism, Is It Needed?

Question: “Baptism, what is it, is it needed?”

Bible Answers

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

What does water baptism mean

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 8:38-39).

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.

Next Section - Is communion/the Lord’s Supper needed?

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