Matthew 28:18-19, NLT “Jesus came and told his disciples…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
The word “baptize” simply means to dip, or plunge, or immerse somebody into water. Water has been used throughout history for religious ceremonies and rituals. And having it poured over you, or being immersed in it, has been used as a way of symbolizing something of spiritual significance for centuries.
John the Baptist used it as a sign of repentance. Preparing the way for Jesus to come.
Baptism was something that Jesus intended to serve as a sign that marked those who were entering into a relationship with Him. And it is full of symbolism. You go down, reflecting Christ’s death; You go under the water, reflecting His burial; Then you come up out of the water, representing His resurrection, and how you have been raised to a new life.
It is meant to reflect what has happened to you spiritually when you turned to Christ with your heart and soul … with the water reflecting the washing away of your sins, and the new life that came into being as a result. Not as a symbol that you are perfect, or are going to be able to live sin free from that moment on. But as a symbol of what coming to Christ is all about – which is admitting that you do need to be forgiven, that you have messed up, and that God has, through Christ, forgiven you! That you’ve accepted that gift!
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.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Baptism is meant to come early on in the faith journey. Many people in the first century were baptized the same day they accepted Jesus as their forgiver and leader.
It’s the test to see whether you’ll “just do it” because He’s asked you to just do it. It’s a test to see if you’re willing to stand up and be counted as a follower of Christ. If you fail this one – the one right at the beginning – then what kind of spiritual life are you going to have? You say “no” to the very first thing He asks of you?
What kind of relationship is that?
Trust Jesus for forgiveness and give him leadership of your life. “Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and loving me, even when I’ve ignored you and gone my own way. I realize I need you in my life and I’m sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me and proving it all to be true in the resurrection. Please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept your gift of salvation. Please help me to grow now as a Christian.
Then be baptized!