As born-again believers, we emphasize inner reality instead of outward ritual. Many people have made water baptism no more than a religious event or have overemphasized it by regarding it as a means of salvation. We could easily make the mistake of dismissing it as unimportant or neglecting it in our emphasis on salvation by grace through faith. As you understand and appreciate the true significance of water baptism, you will experience its spiritual power in your life. While Jesus himself did not baptize anyone, He immediately delegated this responsibility to His followers (John 4:2) who continued the practice under His direction (Mathew 28:19) as a way of initiating new believers into the faith (Acts 2:41).
When a believer enters the water, he or she is being “buried with Christ in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12.) In this sense, every baptism is a funeral for the old self, a way of saying that sin and death no longer own me, “because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7.) But it is much more. The grave could not hold Jesus any more than the water can hold us. At Christ’s return, the grave will be unable to hold us as well (Romans 8:11).
By being baptized we identify ourselves with Christ in His death and resurrection, make our testimony clear, and strengthen our own faith.
“Baptism is a way of telling the world that I identify with
Jesus in every respect.”
Q: Why should I get baptized?
A: Jesus was baptized in water. By being baptized in water, believers are following their Lord’s example and obeying His command. He requires us to take our stand and declare Him openly in water baptism. By doing so we identify ourselves with Christ in His death and resurrection, make our testimony clear, and strengthen our own faith.
Q: Why not at home in my bath tub?
A: Public baptism makes it impossible for Christians to practice a “secret” faith. A baptismal service, especially when accompanied by the new believer’s retelling of his or her spiritual journey, is a powerful witness to the risen Christ and a statement of commitment to the Savior that cannot be retracted. It is a way of saying that I have counted the cost and decided to serve God with all my heart (Luke 14:25-33).