Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baptism in Water: Biblical Salvation (Part 5)

Water baptism has been a part of the life of the Christian faith since the days of Jesus Christ’s ministry. After Jesus’ resurrection, He told His followers to go all over the world with the gospel and to be sure to baptize His disciples. Attending a church service with a baptism is a highlight moment in my life. The Bible tells us how baptism is to be practiced and what it really means.

It is For Believers

Baptism in Scripture always follows repentance and faith (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). It was after a person became a disciple that they were to be baptized (Matt. 28:19). In all the Acts incidents of baptism you will find the order is never reversed. Read the salvation story of the Philippian jailer’s family (Acts 16:31-34) and note that repentance and faith preceded baptism.

There is no age limit for baptism found in the scriptures. If someone is old enough to understand the gospel and believe, they can be saved and baptized!

It is by Immersion

The Greek word for “baptize” means “to dip; to immerse; to submerge.” New Testament believers were, therefore, immersed in water. So John needed plenty of water to do the job (John 3:23). Immersion is confirmed by the description of Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:10). Immersion can also be implied with the baptisms of Philip and the eunuch (Acts 8: 38-39).

What Does it Mean?

The moment you became a Christian, your life was linked with Jesus Christ. You were baptized (immersed) into Him and what happened to Him happened to you as well. You died with Him to your life of sin and to its power over you. And you rose with Him to a brand new life! When you are baptized you are identifying with Him (Romans 6:3-7).

When you go down into the water, you are saying, “Lord Jesus, You died on the cross for me. From now on, my old life is dead. I’ve broken with sin.”

When you are under the water you are saying, “Just as You were buried in the tomb, Lord, so my old sinful life is now buried in the water. This baptism is my funeral.”

When you are lifted out of the water, you are saying, “Lord, You were raised from the dead by God’s power and by that power I can live a totally new life.” Matthew 28: 19-20; Acts 10:48

Water baptism is a first step of obedience to Christ. It is a key time to declare that the kingdom of God has come upon a new life! Let’s celebrate!

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