Jesus stressed the vital importance of water baptism when He told His followers to baptize all those who became Christians.
“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 28:19
Water baptism is far more than a ritual or religious exercise. It is intended to be an essential part of the spiritual foundation of all Christians. At the time of a believer’s baptism in water he or she outwardly affirms the inward commitment he has made to Jesus Christ as the Lord of his or her life.
1. An outward sign of an inward commitment
Outward sign of an inner commitment: Graduation ceremonies are a celebration of the inner commitment to finish what one has started. The inner commitment has existed throughout the journey but the diploma isn’t given out and celebrated until the proper time. While our commitment to following Christ may be strong and we may be well along in our walk with Him we have been instructed by Christ to stop and celebrate this commitment by being baptized!
2. An Identification with Christ
Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. As Jesus freely chose to die in our place, so we must willingly enter into the waters of baptism to rise in newness in life.
Die to the old nature ~ Going down into the water ~ Christ’s death on the cross.
ROMANS 6:3-5, “…all of us who have been baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
Forgiven of all sins ~ Being washed by the water ~ Christ’s burial in the tomb.
MATTHEW 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
*Because Jesus shed His blood on the cross, we are forgiven of our sins.
Free from the grips of sin to live a new life in Christ~ Coming out of the water ~ Christ’s resurrection
ROMANS 6:6-7, “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin.”
GALATIANS 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Jesus stressed its importance when He said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16
Jesus set an example for us when he was baptized in Luke 3:21-22 “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Peter, fulfilling Christ’s command, preached “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 2:38
Is it necessary for you to be water baptized in order for you to be a Christian? No. The Bible says:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, that any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Thief on the cross repenting and Jesus telling him today you shall be with me in paradise in Luke 23:43.
*Though you are not saved by water baptism, you are still asked by Christ to partake of this holy act.
When should you be water baptized? After you Believe and have completely trusted in Christ’s death and resurrection for your salvation.
Jesus said: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16
“But they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ both women and men were baptized.” Acts 8:12
How should I be baptized? Jesus told His disciples to baptize in water “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:19)
Immersion or sprinkling? The word baptism comes from a root word which means the process of immersion, submersion or to make whelmed. And an example would be ‘fully wet.’
At Tribes Church we baptize in a pool of water. MATTHEW 3:16 says, “Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water.”
ACTS 8:38-39, “…and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of water.”