What is baptism?
Baptism is a symbolic act of commitment to Jesus. It is a visual picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in which a believer identifies with Jesus and shows their willingness to die to their old way of life and begin living a new life with Jesus. As such, baptism is also a way in which a believer identifies with others who believe in Christ.
Why do we believe you need to be completely immersed in the water?
There are two reasons: First, the word “baptize” is a transliteration of a greek word which means “to make fully wet.” Second, New Testament references to baptism talks about going down into the water and coming up out of the water…implying a total immersion. (See Matthew 3:16 and Acts 8:38.)
What part does baptism play in salvation?
Baptism is not a means to salvation, because in the New Testament, belief in the person and work of Jesus always proceeds baptism. Baptism is merely a public expression of an already present relationship with Christ.
If baptism is not a part of salvation, then why is it important?
Baptism is important for two reasons: First, Jesus placed enough importance on baptism that He Himself was baptized. (John 3:13-15.) Second, baptism is important because Jesus commanded that His followers be baptized in identification with Him. (Matthew 28:19.) So it is important to obey and commit to what is important to Jesus.
What about re-baptism? What do I do when I still sin after coming to Jesus?
• If you’re an already-baptized believer but you’ve sinned, you should not be re-baptized. Instead, confess (acknowledge) your sin to Him (1 John 1:9) make restitution if necessary and begin a renewed, proactive walk with Him (Galatians 5:16-18).
• If you were baptized previously but didn’t understand it or someone (well-meaning) made you get baptized, we’ll help you – not with re-baptism – but what would now be your real baptism.
• If you’re an already-baptized believer, facing life’s trauma – there are better ways to find hope and still honor God than re-baptism. Trauma may lead us to God. But baptism is not a way to earn God’s favor in dealing with it.
• Remember – Baptism is to be a one-time expression, going public about your relationship with Jesus — like from your engagement to your wedding.
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Contributed by Sean Allen, Connections Pastor, Warren Baptist Church
@2016 Warren Baptist Church