Once a person has trusted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, the very next step is to be baptized. Baptism is both very simple and very meaningful.
Baptism – Simple & Symbol.
If you think about it, baptism is simply getting wet. It’s not that complicated. You just get into a pool of water and let someone dunk you under. But it is more than getting wet.
Baptism symbolizes Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 tells us that Jesus “…died for our sins… was buried, … and was raised the third day...” When I baptize a person, I usually say, “Buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of His resurrection.” Baptism illustrates what Jesus has done for everyone.
Baptism also illustrates a believer’s new life as a Christian. 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that Christians are “new creations in Jesus“. Before receiving Christ we were “dead in our sins” but through Jesus we are “made alive” (Ephesians 2:1-5). Jesus has changed us. A believer has been changed in their heart by receiving Christ as Savior. Baptism illustrates the change – dry to wet. It further illustrates the process – death to life.
Does baptism wash away our sins?
Baptism does not make you a believer. It shows you already believe. When a person receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, their sins are forgiven. So baptism does not ‘save’ you or wash away your sins. To learn how to receive Jesus, please read “The Gospel in your Hand.”
Baptism is a lot like getting married and putting on a wedding ring. It is an outward symbol of an inward decision. If a single person puts on a wedding ring, it doesn’t make them married. Nor does taking off or not wearing a ring make a married person single. A wedding ring is a symbol of a person’s marriage commitment.
Why should a person get baptized?
- To follow the example set by Jesus. Jesus was baptized and wants us to baptize others. In Mark 1:9, we learn that Jesus Himself was baptized before He started His ministry on earth. If the Son of God was baptized, so should we.
- To obey Jesus. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus issues the command us to spread His message of love and salvation to everyone. Not only are we to tell people how to have a relationship with God, He told us to continue baptizing and being baptized! Baptism is the first step of obedience. If a person will not obey the first commandment, they will have difficulty obeying Jesus in other areas.
- To let others know. When a person truly decides to follow Jesus and they want people to know. Making the decision to become a follower of Christ is the best decision a person ever makes. When you make a life-changing decision like this, you want to tell everyone about the new hope you’ve found in Jesus! Our faith should be personal, but not private. Baptism is about going public with your faith.
- To share Christ. Baptism is a powerful symbol of what Jesus did for us. When we’re baptized, we’re reminded of what Jesus did for us. When we go down into the water, we’re reminded of Jesus’ death on the cross and His payment for our sins. But when we come out of the water, we’re reminded that three days later, Jesus rose from the dead! Baptism reminds us that the old is gone, and the new has come! Even without saying a word, a person can preach a pretty good sermon just by being baptized.
Getting baptized is important, but not because it saves you. The grace of God through faith in Jesus is what saves you. Getting baptized is all about telling the world about the change that’s already happened inside of you.
If you decide to get baptized, congratulations. You are on your way to a victorious Christian life. Make sure you invite your friends and family to celebrate with you.
If you want to be baptized at Faith Baptist, please contact me or the church office. We can baptized on any Sunday, provided we are notified on Saturday evening.