What does it mean to be baptized as a Christian?

What exactly is the point of becoming baptized as a Christian?

Jesus created two ordinances for the church, one of which is baptism for Christians. Immediately prior to His ascension, Jesus told His followers to “go and make disciples of all countries,” instructing them to baptize new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to teach others to do the same. To the very end of the era, I promise to be with you (Matthew 28:19–20). According to these directives, the church is to preach the gospel, convert people to Christianity, and baptize them. From now until “the very end of the age,” these things are to be carried out in every country (“all nations”). If for no other reason, therefore, we should baptize because it was Jesus’ order.

Even before the time of the apostles, people were baptized. Historically, Jewish converts were baptized to show that they had been “purified” when they joined the faith. To this end, John the Baptist baptized everyone, not only Gentiles, into the Christian faith before the Lord’s arrival. However, as can be observed in Acts 18:24–26 and 19:1–7, the baptism of John, which symbolized repentance, is not the same as Christian baptism. The significance of baptism for Christians goes beyond the surface.

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Baptism is what distinguishes itself as “Christian” baptism, and it is to be performed in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. A person is received into the church’s fellowship by this sacrament. When we are rescued, the Holy Spirit essentially “baptizes” us into the church, which is Christ’s Body on earth. In order to unite Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free people, we were all baptized with the same Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:13. The Spirit’s baptism is symbolized by water baptism.

Baptism in the Christian religion is a public declaration of belief and commitment to following Christ. Baptism is an outward symbol of an inside confession of faith: “I believe in Christ; Jesus has forgiven my sins, and I have been given a new life of holiness.”

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As a dramatic representation of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, Christian baptism is central to the faith. At the same time, it represents our spiritual rebirth and victory over sin through Christ. Confession of Jesus Christ results in the death of sin (Romans 6:11) and the subsequent resurrection to a new life (Colossians 2:12). Submerging oneself in water is a symbol of one’s sins dying and one’s new, sinless existence beginning after salvation. In order to share in Christ’s resurrection and new life by the power of the Father, Paul writes in Romans 6:4 that “we were therefore buried with him through baptism into death.”

Baptism, put simply, is a public declaration of a private transformation inside the life of a Christian. Despite its intimate association with salvation, baptism is not necessary to be saved; it is an act of obedience to the Lord performed after one has been saved. Baptism follows a person’s confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as evidenced in several biblical passages. We may observe this pattern in Acts 2:41: “Those who embraced [Peter’s] word were baptized” (see also Acts 16:14–15).

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A person who has just come to faith in Jesus Christ should have a strong desire to be baptized. The Ethiopian eunuch hears Philip preach “the good news about Jesus” and then, “as they proceeded down the road, they came to some water and the eunuch remarked, ‘Look, here is water. ‘What’s to stop me from becoming baptized?'” (Chapters 35 and 36) The chariot came to an immediate halt, and Philip baptized the guy.

A believer’s baptism symbolizes his or her union with Christ in his or her own death, burial, and subsequent resurrection. Baptism is should be practiced for all converts to Christianity wherever the gospel is proclaimed.

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