What is Baptism?
1. It is a step of obedience to the Lord’s great Commission.
MT 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
2. A unifying act that all believers should hold in common.
1CO 1:13-15 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?…no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
EPH 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
GAL 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
3. It is a powerful public declaration of your faith in Christ
ACTS 19:4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
RO 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
ACTS 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call." 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Baptism is NOT:
1. NOT Magic. Baptism does not take away or give you something you do not already have. You will still need to continue to grow in your personal walk with Jesus Christ.
2. NOT necessary for salvation. Though baptism is closely associated with and a symbol of salvation.
3. NOT owned by a church or group. This is a rite of JESUS and His universal church. It can be misused or misunderstood by an individual group but never owned by one.
4. NOT a meaningless church ritual. Baptism is a powerful biblical ceremony that is only meaningless if not done for the wrong reason.
Before you are baptized you need to ask yourself two questions:
1) Have I come to a saving faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ and are there are evidences in my life to that effect?
2) Do I have the right attitude about baptism and what it means?