Baptism: The Reason For and Meanings Of Being Baptized…
I’ve received several questions about being baptized on my post “How to Lead Someone to Christ”. Unfortunately, I think some readers may have inadvertently skipped the part that stated “Being saved or receiving salvation is only the first step. Click here to read more about the next steps that a person needs to take after being led to Christ” where the readers are then directed to the “1st Steps to Ultimate Success” page that instructs on the need for baptism, finding a church home, establishing/growing a relationship with God by daily quiet times/bible reading, finding a good Christian support system, etc. So, to remedy this problem I decided to write a more specific post about being baptized and then put a direct link on those pages as well.
We need to be baptized to follow Jesus’ example
Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19 (NLT), “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Even Jesus was baptized. We need to follow His example. This serves as a public example and expression of our decision to follow Christ.
“Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.” Matthew 3:13-15 (NLT)
““I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!” One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River.” Mark 1:8-9 (NLT)
“One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized…” Luke 3:21 (NLT)
Being baptized is an integral part of our faith
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NLT)
“Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 (NLT)
“Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (NLT)
After we have repented and confessed Jesus Christ as our Lord, we need to take the next step to openly and publicly declare this decision. We need to be baptized. Getting baptized is simply putting an action step to our confession.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision. By being baptized, we are proclaiming to the world that we are now a follower of Christ and have a new life in Him. We are showing others that we have decided to follow Jesus and have made him the leader of our life. It is a statement that we are not ashamed to call Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels.” Luke 12:8 (NLT)
Symbolism of Baptism
Baptism (being immersed in water and brought back up) symbolizes a few different things.
- The first is that you are being washed clean and that your sins are washed away.
“And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:21 (NLT)
- The second is a picture of what Jesus did for us—he died and was buried (immersed in water is a picture of this) and was resurrected (brought back up from the water is a picture of this).
“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” 1 Corinthians 15:4 (NLT)
- The third is a representation of your old self/old sinful nature dying (like Jesus did) and then a new you being born again or resurrected (like Jesus was).
“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 (NLT)
“For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NLT)
- Lastly, baptism symbolizes that we too will rise again and have life (eternal) after death (physical).
“If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?” 1 Corinthians
Sometimes the best way to explain something is by visual aid! On top of that, it’s even easier to understand if it’s explained at the level of a child (even if we are intellectual adults!). Here are a couple of very short videos designed for kids that demonstrate what baptism is at a very basic level that is easy to understand…
Dot and Bouncy: Baptism (Life.Church 3:00min.) Click here for a direct link to watch on YouTube.
What is Baptism? (Kids on the Move—Tulsa, OK, 1:57min.) Click here for a direct link to watch on YouTube.
Take Some Practical Steps to Be Able to Explain Reason For and Meanings Of Being Baptized:
- First and foremost, have you been baptized? If not, take that step! Acknowledge Jesus publicly, and He will acknowledge you before God.
- Get a solid understanding for yourself of the reason for and the meanings of being baptized. It’s difficult to explain others if you don’t first understand it yourself. Take some time to commit the symbolism and even a few key verses to memory. Consider highlighting and bookmarking the above mentioned verses in your own bible.
- Save or bookmark the videos listed above so that you can have a visual aid to explain baptism to others. It’s a good thing to have easy-to-understand resources handy to be able to explain to a child, a grandchild, or even another adult.
- Save, bookmark, and/or pin this page as a resource, and share it with others when explaining baptism.
- Lastly… “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) Get busy! Go lead people to Jesus and baptize them!
How have you explained being baptized? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
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