Baptism is the outward symbol of the change that God has made in us. It is the next step of obedience for those who commit their lives to following Jesus. Baptism does not make you a believer, it shows that you already are one. Baptism does not “save” you, only faith in Christ does that.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith… it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
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Why be Baptized?
Because you want to follow Christ's example.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.
Because Christ commanded it.
Jesus said, "Go then, to all people everywhere and make them My disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you."
Because it shows you are a believer.
...many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
Because obeying Christ's commands shows you know Him.
We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.
1 John 2:3
The Meaning of Baptism
It is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection.
Christ died for our sins... He was buried... and He rose again.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.
It is a symbol of your new life as a Christian.
When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17
How are we to be Baptized?
Like Jesus was baptized - by being immersed in water.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water.
...then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…
Acts 8:38-39 (Example)
The word "baptize" literally means "to dip under water."
The Greek word "baptizo" means "to immerse or dip under water."
It is the best way to picture a burial and resurrection.
Who should be Baptized?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ should be baptized.
Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized.
But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News... and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ. We do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe.
When are we to be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed! You shouldn't delay.
Those who believed... were baptized... that day!
There is no reason to delay. As soon as a person decides to believe in Christ, he can and should be baptized.
The Founders of Denominations Agree
Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran church:
"I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the Word imports and the mystery signifies."
John Calvin, founder of the Presbyterian church:
"The word 'baptize' signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church."
John Wesley, founder of the Methodist church:
"Buried with Him, alluding to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."