Believer’s baptism is a very special moment on our journey of faith. It is a moment when God’s presence and blessing meets us, and when we make our personal commitment of faith in Jesus as Lord. It signifies the end of our old life and of being born again to new life in Christ.
It takes place by full immersion in water; it speaks of repentance and cleansing, of being united with Christ in his death and resurrection and of witnessing to the call of God upon our lives.
Baptism is also about receiving God’s Spirit for service in the church and in the world.
Jesus set an example: Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).
Jesus commands us: In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
The early church practised it: On the Day of Pentecost, Peter tells the people to “Repent and be baptised, 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” (Acts 2:37-38).
There are other examples of baptism throughout the book of Acts which suggests believer’s baptism was an integral part of early church life.
What does baptism signify?
It represents forgiveness and washing away of our sins through faith in what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross to forgive our sins. [Acts 22:16]
It symbolises death, burial and resurrection. We identify in baptism with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of ‘me first, in our new life with God we put Him first [Romans 6:1 -11; Colossians 2:9 -12]
It affirms that we are starting a new life with the risen Jesus in us.[Galatians 2:20]
It portrays immersion in the Holy Spirit [see Mark 1:8]
It anticipates our future, bodily resurrection into eternal life at Jesus’ second coming [John 6:40; Philippians 3:20 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 18]
It signifies that we have been accepted by God and have become a child of His [Galatians 3:26 – 28] he is our wonderful heavenly Father.
It shows that we have passed through the waters of God’s judgement and have received the gift of eternal life [John 5:24; 1 Peter 3: 18 – 22]
It confirms that we are a part of God’s family, ‘the body of Christ’ 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13,27]. We belong!