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Why Should I Be Baptized?
1. Jesus set an example of baptism for us to follow.
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9)
2. Jesus commanded that His followers be baptized.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)
3. It is required for church membership.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body..." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
What Is The Meaning Of Baptism?
Baptism stands as a symbol and declaration that we identify with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Since we are united to Him through faith, our old self has been put to death, and now we walk in new life.
"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4)
“...having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
The act of baptism itself does not save someone from their sins or regenerate them in the eyes of God. The thief on the cross next to Jesus was saved and given access to paradise without ever being baptized (Luke 23:39-43). It is only faith that saves. This faith is then outwardly expressed through baptism. The Apostle Peter says "Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21). He says that baptism doesn't save you "as a removal of dirt from the body." In other words, the physical act of going in the water doesn't save you. What saves you is the faith that you have within and is expressed through baptism, or as Peter calls it, "an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Scripture is clear that we are saved by grace through faith alone and not by any acts or works that we do, even baptism (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 10:9; Mark 1:15; Romans 3:21-26; Romans 4:1-12; Galatians 2:15-16; John 3:16-21; Colossians 1:19-23, etc.). However, true saving faith should produce good works, including the desire to be baptized (James 2:17; Ephesians 2:10).
Why Be Baptized By Immersion?
1. Because Jesus was described as coming "up from the water" or "up out of the water" when He was baptized, indicating that Jesus was baptized by immersion. (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10)
2. Other examples show that people "came up out of the water" after being baptized. (e.g., Acts 8:38–39)
3. The word that is translated “baptize” means “to dip" or "immerse”.
4. It best symbolizes burial and resurrection.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Baptism is for all those who have been born again, repented of their sins, and placed their faith in Christ alone for salvation. Galatians 3:25-27 says "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." This teaches that all who "were baptized into Christ" have already "put on Christ." The way that they "put on Christ" is by faith, for it says "in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith." Therefore, only those who have "put on Christ" by faith are candidates for baptism. Furthermore, since baptism is an expression of one's identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-4), then of course one must already be united to Christ by faith in order to be baptized. This then excludes the practice of infant baptism, as practiced by other denominations.