Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is a God-given way to publicly identify yourself as a follower of Jesus. It is an act of obedience that expresses your new life in Christ. The word baptizo means “to wash,” therefore baptism symbolizes that your sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus (Psalm 51:2). Secondly, baptism signifies your identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Going down and coming up in the water represents your connection with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Your sins are paid for in Christ’s death and you share in the power and joy of being resurrected with him (Rom. 6:3-4).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
Baptism does not save you from your sins. Eternal salvation is a gift from God that is only applied through faith in Jesus Christ. It is because God saved you from your sins that you respond to be baptized with a heart of gratitude and commitment. “For it is by grace you are saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is a gift from God.” (Eph. 2:8)
If my baptism is not necessary for salvation, why should I get baptized?
Jesus commanded our baptism as an expression of our discipleship “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20) It expresses not only your commitment to Christ, but also to the body of Christ “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (I Cor. 12:12-13)
How long do I need to be a Christian before being baptized?
Scripture show us that many people were baptized soon after hearing and responding to the gospel (Acts 8:35-38). The prerequisite for baptism is not knowledge or experience; it is simply repentance from sin and a faith in Christ (i.e. being a Christian). “They answered, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.” (Acts 16:31-33)
Why doesn’t Lifesong baptize babies?
Baptism is a public confession of faith that is done in obedience to Christ. When children are able to repent, confesses their sins and consciously trust Jesus as Savior and Lord, then they may choose to go through the waters of baptism.
Common Fears About Baptism
My Christian walk is unstable. I don’t feel that it is where it should be.
Remember that our relationship with God is an on-going process of growth. Baptism is not a reflection of how “spiritual” you are. It is an act of humility in which you confess that you are not perfect and need a Savior. “I’m scared of being in front of so many people.” Although you may feel intimidated about standing in front of everyone, know that Jesus is with you and that those witnessing your baptism are your spiritual family. They are there to support, encourage and celebrate your continuing development as a disciple of Jesus. “I’m afraid that my family will disapprove.” The possible conflict of loyalty is very difficult for some people to reconcile. Scripture teaches that we must be baptized and should also honor our parents. Ultimately, we must do what pleases God (Mark 10:29-30).