Baptism: Meaning and Significance

According to the Greek, the word baptism means to dip or immerse. Christians believe that water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ.

John the Baptist spread the news of the coming of a Messiah who would forgive sins. He did this as he baptized those who accepted the gospel (Mark 1:4).

Do you need to be baptized to be saved?

According to God’s Word, Baptism is not a requirement of salvation. Salvation is by divine grace through faith alone.

Why is water used in baptism?

During a baptism ceremony, water symbolizes the cleansing of sin. Jesus instructed us to baptize using
water and the words of the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What is Baptism?

According to Christians, baptism is a way of identifying with Christ’s death and his resurrection. As Christ died, a person is dipped in water symbolizing the burying of the old way of life, which is sinful in nature, and by resurrecting, the believer is raised together with Christ through faith. The washing of the old kind of a man and forgiveness takes place through the raising of Christ. (Colossians 2:11-12)

In Romans 6:4, Apostle Paul explains to the Romans the importance of baptism. He says Christians are buried with Christ through death and raised from death to a new life through the Glory of the risen Messiah.

Submerging in water shows surrendering and giving authority of the believer’s life to Christ and gaining new identity in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38).

For Baptism to take place, it requires,

  • Water (Matthew 3:11)
  • Being immersed in water (Act 8:36)
  • Coming out of the water (Matthew 3:16)

To be baptized, a believer has to decide to believe in Christ.

The Purpose of Baptism

Discipleship

Christ commands us to follow his examples. Therefore, being baptized, you are preaching the message of repentance that was demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

Jesus ordained the baptism by commanding us to make disciples in the whole world and baptize them in his name. (Matt 28:19-20)

By immersing in water, a believer shows obedience to following Christ in imitating him. In so doing, we symbolize becoming his disciple.

Union with Christ

Christian baptism is the means by which a person makes a public profession of faith and discipleship. By being baptized in water, the believer is identified with Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism unites us with Christ, and we become justified through faith.

Your old ways become buried with Christ, and a new belief is raised together with Christ. Baptism illustrates our death to sin and new life in Christ.

Through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we become in one harmony and given authority to operate as Christ here on earth.

Baptism represents the spiritual birth of a believer (John 3:6).

Faith in Jesus

Water Baptism is publicly confessing before witnesses to be identified with Christ. Baptism also shows an outward sign of following Christ through our intuitive ways. Although being baptized does not free one from temptations, it exemplifies that we can overcome them as Jesus did. (Heb 4:15:16).

Baptism does not, therefore, save us from sin. To be saved, one needs to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and then baptized.

In the Old Testament, the infant was circumcised to signify the covenant which Moses was given. By coming of the Messiah, a new promise was made.

Therefore, we are made new through the new covenant of Jesus. In Galatians 3:26-17, Paul says it’s through faith we become sons of God through Baptism and no other way.

Bible Verses About Baptism

1 Peter 3:21

“and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..”

Colossians 2:21

“having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Ephesians 4:4-6

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Acts 22:16

“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’”

Gifts for Baptism

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