What is Baptism?

Baptism is a wonderful and meaningful Christian experience. However, many people do not understand what the Bible teaches about baptism.

  • Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:41
  • But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12
  • And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Acts 18:8

In order to be baptized, you must believe that you are a sinner, that as a sinner you deserve to die and go to hell, and the Jesus Christ died on the cross for you. In short, you must first trust on and totally depend upon Jesus Christ for your salvation. You must believe Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried and rose again according to the Scriptures. You received Jesus Christ by faith, calling on Him in prayer to come into your life, forgive you of your sin, and give you eternal life.

  • Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19
  • And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Acts 10:48a

God’s word commands all believers to be baptized. Therefore, baptism is an act of obedience. Jesus Christ set the example for all believers when He was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13).

  • And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lightning upon him. Matthew 3:16
  • And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Acts 8:38
  • Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12

The word “baptism” means “to immerse.” Immersion is the only method of baptism mentioned in the Bible. When you are immersed in water you are publicly identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism is a picture or an outward expression of what has already happened in your heart.

  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
  • Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. – Titus 3:5a

In order for baptism to be valid, it must be scriptural. Jesus commissioned the local bible-believing church to baptize its converts (Matthew 28:19,20).

Therefore, the authority of a local church is only valid when it teaches salvation by grace alone.

  • But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  Acts 8:12
  • And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. Acts 16:33

Baptism should take place at the first opportunity after an individual trusts Christ as personal Savior. A person is not baptized in order to obtain salvation. A person is baptized as an act of obedience to Christ as a result of salvation.

Let’s Review

Who should be baptized?

Only people who have trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior should be baptized.

Why should you be baptized?

Every believer should be baptized because it is commanded by God’s word.

How should you be baptized?

Every believer should be baptized by immersion.

Who has the authority to baptize?

Every believer should be baptized by a local Bible-believing church which teaches salvation by grace.

When should you be baptized?

Every believer should be baptized as soon as possible after trusting in Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Commitment

If you have believed these truths from the Bible and if you want to commit yourself to following Christ in baptism,  you can pray something like this simple prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I have received you as my personal Savior and I am wholly trusting in you for my salvation. I do want to obey you. Right now I commit myself to follow you in believer’s baptism. Help me to continue being a good Christian.

Amen.

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Please let us know if you have prayed and committed to the Lord to be baptized. We would like to be in touch with you to help you take this important first step of obedience.  Just contact us via phone or email and someone from our ministry will be in touch with you.

Phone: (334) 284-3737

Email: calvarymontgomery@yahoo.com