Why Should I Be Baptized?

Will Robinson

At Believer’s Bible Church we teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Both practices are commanded by Christ in Scripture and represent an important part of our relationship with Him. Let’s do a Biblical breakdown of both the purpose and practice of water baptism. Please examine the references for a more complete background on this topic.

Exactly what is Baptism?

The word baptize is the English form of the Greek word “baptizo” which means to immerse. The New Testament teaches and demonstrates that baptism is the act of a believer being put completely under water, then immediately raised out of the water. There is no instance anywhere in scripture where infants are baptized or where individuals are sprinkled as a substitute for being submersed in water. Water baptism is a symbolic burial, by which a new Christian publicly declares they have died to their old sinful nature, and are now beginning a new life in Christ. Thus, it is a statement of faith, a sign of repentance – repentance means change – a change so drastic that the old person is “buried”.

Is Baptism a requirement?

Christ clearly commanded it and made it a part of His great commission:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:18 -19 (NKJV)

The early church practiced it and in every recorded instance in Acts immediately upon receiving Jesus as Savior the believers were baptized. (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5) Jesus, himself, was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist as an example for us to follow. (Read Matt. 3:13-16) Paul was also baptized and he baptized many others in the New Testament. (Acts 9:18, 1 Cor. 1:15; Acts 16:31-33; 19:1-7) The Bible never states that Baptism is a prerequisite for salvation or eternal life; however, it is a means of identification with Christ, His message and His children.

1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. 6 Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. 9 We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.
Rom. 6:1 -11 (NLT)

Is the formula of words important?

In Acts , a multitude gathered at Jerusalem as Peter preached a sermon that brought them under deep conviction for their sins. They asked the apostles, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter’s answer was unmistakably plain: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). It is apparent God had chosen the combination of the name and the water for remission of sins, and that the Lord intended for His name to be called in the act of baptism. Likewise, Ananias instructed Paul, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Read Col. 3:17, Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5 & 22:16.

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