What is baptism?
The Greek word used for baptism, ‘baptizo’ means to immerse, submerge, to overwhelm.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water as an outward testimony of what has occurred inwardly. It illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
– Romans 6:3-4
The action of being immersed in the water pictures being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures Christ’s resurrection.
What are the requirements for being baptized?
The person being baptized must have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, and understand what baptism signifies. Baptism is simply a step of obedience, a public proclamation of one’s faith in Christ alone for salvation. Baptism is important because it is a step of obedience publicly declaring faith in Christ and commitment to Him.
Why should I be baptized?
The answer to this question is the answer to, “What is a Christian?” By definition, “a Christian is a follower, and emulator of Christ”. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38)
A follower of Jesus Christ believes what He believes & teaches, and emulates His life.
We are told in Matthew 3:13, Mark 1:9 & Luke 3:21 that Jesus sought out John, the Baptist, and was baptized. Being Christian, means following Christ’s example, “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” (Matthew 10:38-39)
Baptism has a part in the Church founded by Jesus Christ, “After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.” – John 3:22, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’” – Matthew 28:19
A true follower of Jesus Christ will be baptized with water, unless circumstances completely beyond their control prevent it. Our Lord & Savior set the example and established water baptism as an ordinance of His Church.
Does water baptism equal salvation?
Water baptism does not save a person. If they are unsaved when they go down into the water, they will still be lost in sin when they surface. There is only on way to be saved. You must be born again. By repentance and genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Water baptism is only for people who have already experienced the New Birth.
A baby or an infant cannot understand repentance and faith in Christ and so are too young to be born again.
Into “what” is a person baptized?
We all know people who say, “I am affiliated with this church,” or “I joined that church” The Bible says “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” – Romans 6:3
Christ said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19
Nowhere does the Bible say that we are baptized into either a denomination or some particular church organization.
Should I wait to get baptized?
The New Testament has several accounts showing that we should not delay baptism.
When Paul was to be baptized, God inspired Ananias to go perform it. Ananias’ reaction, immediately upon seeing Paul was recorded in Acts 22:16 – “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Paul never forgot this.
Notice, when he saved the Philippian jailer with his family, it was some time after midnight, and yet they were immediately baptized without even waiting for the next day to come. “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” – Acts 16:32 – 33
Also the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized immediately after Philip counseled him. “Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” – Acts 8:36