Baptism is one of the core concepts of Christianity, but it can mean different things to different people. When we refer to baptism, we mean the process by which mature believers are immersed in water demonstrating a faith in Christ and securing the salvation of their souls.
There are several reasons that we believe in the necessity of baptism:
It is an example of Christian discipleship.
Jesus choose to be baptized (Matthew 3:13-17), so if we hope to be like Jesus, we should follow His example.
It is an act of righteousness.
When Jesus asked to be baptized John was hesitant, but Jesus was insistent saying “… it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15). If it was the right thing for the Pure and Perfect Son of God to do, it is the right thing for us to do as well.
It is pleasing to God.
As soon as Jesus was baptized a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17). While God must have been pleased with the entire life of Jesus, the timing of this statement seems to demonstrate God’s approval of baptism for all of us.
It allows us to participate in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The death sentence Jesus received that led Him to the cross is really ours. Our sins are what condemned Him to death because He was willing to take on our punishment. The good news in this tragedy is that Jesus didn’t stay dead – He was raised – and that resurrection provides for our salvation. Baptism allows us to share in this act of salvation (Colossians 2:9-15).
It is a requirement for salvation.
When the Apostle Peter taught about baptism, he remined us that baptism “now saves you also” (I Peter 3:21-22). It isn’t that there is something special in the waters of the baptismal pool that washes us clean, rather it is our participation in the resurrection process and the pledge we make to God that provides salvation.
It forgives us of our sins.
When we choose wrong over right we sin against God and alienate ourselves from Him. That sin has condemned us to death (James 1:13-15); however, through God’s grace He offers us a second chance – forgiveness. While we can do nothing on our own to correct our sinful nature God allows us to return to Him through repentance and baptism. When those who were primarily responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus realized the sinfulness of their ways they sought to be restored to God. Again, it was the Apostle Peter who provided them with the answer, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38). The same process that forgave their sins centuries ago cleanses us today.
It provides us with Spiritual support.
One of the last things that Jesus promised His disciples before His death was the presence of a “Comforter” or “Helper”, in other words a spiritual advocate (John 14-16). After telling his audience how to take care of the sin problem in their lives, the Apostle Peter teaches that this Advocate comes through the process of baptism by saying, “And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and our children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39).
If you would like more information about baptism or if you have any unanswered questions about our process of immersion, please contact us or join us for one of our Worship Services.