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Water Baptism

Baptism is a wonderful occasion and a cause for celebration. After all, it makes public a profession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It also commemorates the victory that we have over sin and death through what Christ has done on our behalf.

I.  What Is Baptism All About?

Baptism is an outward symbol of the inward change that takes place in the life of an authentic believer. It powerfully symbolizes the union that a believer has with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism, then, is identifying the believer with the truth of what Christ has done on our behalf. It also serves as a public testimony of one’s faith in Jesus Christ and identifies the believer with the Body of Christ, which is the church.

II.  How Are We To Be Baptized?

Baptism in the New Testament was carried out in one way: the person being baptized was completely immersed under water and then brought back up again. In fact, the Greek word baptizo means, “to plunge, dip, immerse” something in water (Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:5, Jn 3:23 Acts 8:38-39). Not only is immersion a biblical precedent, but baptism by immersion is clearly the best way to symbolize our union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

III.  Who Should Be Baptized?

The New Testament reveals that only those who have made a clear and evident decision to follow Jesus Christ should be baptized. This is because baptism, which is a symbol of beginning the Christian life, should only be given to those who have in fact begun the Christian life. (Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12, Acts 10:44-46). In addition, it only makes sense that the outward symbol of beginning the Christian life should only be given to those who show outward evidence of having begun the Christian life.

IV. Is Baptism Necessary For Salvation?

While we recognize that Jesus commanded His followers to be baptized (Matt. 28:19), we do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation. The reason for this is if we say that baptism or any other “sacrament” is necessary for salvation, we are in effect saying that we are not justified by faith alone, but by faith plus works, which in this case would be baptism. This goes clearly against the New Testament message that justification is by faith and faith alone. (Eph. 2:8-9).