Summary: Part 2 of 4 in the teaching series "SENT" which explores Jesus’ commission to his disciples. This message gives an overview of baptism and it’s role in the life of a follower of Jesus.
:: Understanding Baptism
God’s Command: “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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” [Matthew 28:18-20]
God’s Promise: “The one who believes and is baptized will be saved” [Mark 16:16]
Baptism plays a vital role in the life of anyone who has put their trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation. It is a physical sign of a spiritual reality, an external demonstration of an internal work of grace.
• symbolizes God’s unwavering love for us
• reminds us of his action to save us through Christ from sin and death
• assures us of our salvation and identifies us with Jesus
:: So What is Baptism?
The word baptism comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to immerse or dip [into a liquid]. In a biblical sense, to baptize a person means to put that person completely under the water, then immediately raise him or her up again.
According to the Bible, baptism is an act whereby a new Christian identifies with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Water baptism is a public profession of a person’s repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and a way of giving outward testimony to an inward work of God.
“Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”
** Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
No, salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. However, baptism is essential for the life of the believer. First, it marks a step of obedience (Jesus commanded us to be baptized). Second, it affirms our understanding that, through Christ, our old life is dead and buried, and a new life has been raised within us. Third, it reminds us – regardless of our doubts and despairs – that we have hope in Christ, assurance of salvation, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and life everlasting with God.
** When Should I be Baptized?
In Scripture, those who trusted Jesus were immediately baptized. The only pre-requisite that we find in Scripture for baptism is that one place their faith in Christ for salvation and repents of their sins. Beyond that there is no reason to delay.
** What Does Baptism Mean for Daily Living?
Martin Luther said it this way: “It means that our sinful self, with all its evil deeds and desires, should be drowned through daily repentance; and that day after day a new self should arise to live with God in righteousness and purity forever.”
The Apostle Paul stated: “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” [Romans 6:4]
Baptism reminds us of the new life that Christ has created in us and challenges us to live that life daily for God’s glory.