Baptism | Calvary Bellflower

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What is Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ in the New Testament (Matt 28:19) for those who confess faith in him (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12). Baptism is done by immersing the whole body in water (Matt 3:16; Acts 8:38,39), in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).

When you are baptized, it serves as a sign of your fellowship with Christ and your identification with him in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3,5). Baptism marks that you have now put on Christ (Gal 3:27) and received forgiveness for your sins (Acts 22:16). It is the public declaration of your repentance and your belief in Christ (Acts 2:38), symbolizing that you have committed to live and walk in newness of life through Christ (Rom 6:4).

When you decide to be baptized, you are acting in obedience with Christ's command in Matt 28:19,20. At the moment you decided to place your faith in Christ, you were saved (Acts 2:21; 4:12). When you are baptized in water, you are acting out, in the physical realm, what has already happened to you in the spiritual realm, your death, burial, and resurrection through Christ (Gal 2:20; Rom 6:3,5; Col 2:12). Baptism by immersion best illustrates the symbolism of our shared death (crucifixion), burial, and resurrection with Christ. Going into the water symbolizes death and burial. Coming up out of the water symbolizes being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life.

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What Is The Significance of Baptism?

Water baptism is a public declaration of three very important things:

You are a follower of Jesus Christ.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized.” —Acts 2:41

You are beginning a changed life in Christ.

“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.” —Romans 6:4

You are part of a new family.

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” —Galatians 3:26–27

WHY BE BAPTIZED?

Those who are baptized are following Jesus’ example and obeying His command.

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” —Matthew 3:16–17

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” —Matthew 28:18–20