When we decide to follow Jesus, we venture down the narrow path, but we are not alone. Baptism is a public declaration that you belong to Christ and a community.
What Baptism Isn’t
- Baptism is not meant to clean you off every time you feel unholy.
- Baptism is not what makes a person saved.
- Baptism is not an act decided by another person.
What Baptism Is
- Baptism is a physical illustration of a spiritual transformation.
- Baptism identifies symbolically with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
- Baptism is a public declaration that you belong to Christ and a community.
What Baptism Symbolizes
- Baptism is not an isolated New Testament concept.
- In addition to the practice being used before Jesus, the significance is interwoven through the pages of Scripture.
- Genesis 1:6 ESV 6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”
- Genesis 7:11 ESV 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
- Genesis 8:1 ESV 1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.
- Genesis 8:11 ESV 11 And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.
- Exodus 14:21 ESV 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
- Joshua 3:17 ESV 17 Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
- Jonah 2:5–6 ESV 5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my head 6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.
- Matthew 3:16 ESV 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
- Matthew 28:19 ESV 19 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,
- Acts 2:38 ESV 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 2:41 ESV 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
- Romans 6:4 ESV 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
- Galatians 3:27 ESV 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
- Revelation 2:11 ESV 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’
Questions About Baptism
- Is baptism necessary for salvation?
- Baptism isn’t a have-to issue for salvation, but it should be a want-to issue.
- Can baptism be private?
- Part of baptism’s nature is to identify to others your connection and their need for it as well.
- Who can baptize me?
- Any baptized professing disciple of Jesus Christ can baptize another.
- Is being immersed necessary?
- “Baptism” means “to dip” or “immerse.”
- Why would I need to get baptized if I had a previous experience?
- If your baptism wasn’t your personal decision after your specific conversion, it serves as obedience and witness.
- Does getting baptized after infant baptism discredit what my parents did?
- You can honor your parents by thanking them for their dedication while indicating you want this to your personal decision.
Should You Be Baptized?
- Are you confident that Jesus has saved you?
- Was your baptism your decision?
- Have you been baptized after your salvation experience?
- Have you made your decision to follow Jesus public?