About Baptism – Why? How? When?

Why  should I be baptized?

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

These scriptures from the Bible tell us of Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples before He ascended to heaven.  Last instructions are oftentimes some of the most important words someone wants to communicate.

Water baptism is first and foremost obedience to the command of Christ Jesus.  He Himself was baptized, setting an example for us to follow.

Being water baptized should be done in obedience to God’s Word.  The act itself is an outward sign, or testimony, of an inward work in your life.  You do something when you go down into the water that shows outwardly to other believers, and also to the world, that you are following Jesus with your life.

Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?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 6:3-4

Water baptism is a living picture that you paint in your life of what Jesus did in His death, burial, and resurrection.  After you have been baptized, you will be able to relate, in a sense, to what He has done for you by having symbolically done it yourself.

The question is often asked, “How old should a child be before he is water baptized?”  Because water baptism is symbolic of being born again, a child should thoroughly understand the New Birth before he is water baptized.

How should I be baptized?

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. Matthew 3:16

He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. Acts 8:38-39a

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. Romans 6:4a

Webster defines bury as “to hide or cover.”  Only immersion fulfills this definition.  The definition of the Greek word used here (baptizo) is “to make whelmed (i.e., fully wet).”  You need to be fully immersed.

When should I be baptized?

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  Acts 2:41

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  Then Simon himself believed also: and he was baptized. Acts 8:12-13a

And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. Acts 16:32-33

Water baptism should be the first step of faith you take after being born again.  It is a decision of faith on your part to live for Jesus the rest of your life.

You should be water baptized as soon as you can after you have been saved.  Don’t put it off.  If you have been saved for some time – one year, twenty years, or even more – and you have not yet been baptized, you still need to follow the Lord’s command in this.

Remember that His instructions to you have not changed.  You will be blessed as you follow the Lord’s instruction, no matter how long it has been since you received salvation.

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