What Is The Meaning of Baptism?
1. It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…and He rose again.” — 1 Cor 15:3-4
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”— Col 2:12
2. It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life begun!”—2 Cor 5:17
“By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…so also we may live a new life!”—Rom 6:4
Baptism does not make you a believer – it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save you” — only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
Why Be Baptized by Immersion?
1. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.”—Matt 3:16
2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
“…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…”— Acts 8:38-39.
The word “baptize” means “to dip under water”. The Greek word “baptize” means “to immerse or dip under the water.” It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!
3. The founders of denominations agree.
Martin Luther – “I would have those who are baptized to be totally immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin – “The words ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley – “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
Who Should Be Baptized?
1. Every person who has believed in Christ.
“Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized.”—Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized.”—Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”—Acts 8:12
2. Why do we not baptize babies?
The word clearly states that in order to be saved, you must make a personal profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of baptizing a baby who clearly cannot make that statement of faith, we provide a baby dedication ceremony.
The ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. The church body also enters into covenant with the parents to assist them in any way possible in raising their children in the faith.