What is the Meaning of Baptism?
It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
Christ died for our sins . . . he was buried . . . and he rose again. – 1 Corinthians 15:34
For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ. – Colossians 2:12
It symbolizes my new life as a Christian.
When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . so also we may live a new life! – Romans 6:4
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer; it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring: it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith . . . it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
It demonstrates my faith.
Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. – Acts 18:8
Why Be Baptized by Immersion?
Because Jesus was baptized that way.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. – Matthew 3:16
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
. . . then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water . . . – Acts 8:38-39
The Greek work for baptize (baptizo) means “to submerge or dip under water.”
It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!
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. – Romans 6:4
Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ should be baptized.
Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized . . . – Acts 2:41
Simon himself believed and was baptized . . . – Acts 8:13
But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News . . . and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. – Acts 8:12
What About Infant Baptism?
At Relevant Church, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism, and old enough to remember their baptism, before we baptize them.
Some churches practice infant baptism. This ceremony is similar in nature to our practice of child dedication and is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child—the parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Jesus Christ. The custom of infant baptism began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.
Infant baptism is not a practice found in Scripture, nor do we find evidence of its practice by the early church. The biblical purpose for baptism is to publicly profess your personal commitment to Jesus Christ. At Relevant, it is a requirement that every Partner must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated—by immersion—even though many of us were “baptized” and/or “dedicated” as children.
When Should I Be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed in Christ as your Savior, you should be baptized. There is no reason to delay!
Those who believed . . . were baptized . . . that day! – Acts 2:41
Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, “Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The man answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him. – Acts 8:35-38
Why Do We Express So Much Joy and Excitement When Someone is Baptized?
Jesus taught that there is great rejoicing in heaven over each person who repents of his or her sin and acknowledges Him as Savior.
I tell you that . . . there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent . . . I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. – Luke 15:7, 10
Because there is rejoicing in heaven over a person’s decision to follow Jesus Christ, we choose to celebrate with them here on earth and affirm their commitment to the Lord.
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