WHAT IS IT?
Water baptism is an outward sign of your inner decision to follow Christ.
WHY SHOULD I DO IT?
1. Water Baptism Identifies Me with Christ.
It is a symbolic act and public testimony that you are now following Christ and identifying with Him in His death, burial and resurrection as your Savior and Lord.
a. In death – I am crucified with Christ.
When we are sorry for our past sins, repent (turn away from them), believe in Jesus as Savior and invite Him into our life, we are symbolically crucified with Him. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
b. In burial – I am buried with Christ.
After receiving Jesus as Savior and dying to our old way of life, we are symbolically buried with Him by being submerged into the water. “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)
c. In resurrection – I am raised with Christ.
Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, when we come up out of the water, we are symbolically raised from death to live a whole new life free from the power of sin! “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection ... Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:5, 8) Our lives should now reflect the changes that baptism symbolizes. “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires ... but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life...” (Romans 6:11-13)
2. Water Baptism Follows Jesus’ Example.
Even though Jesus never sinned and did not need to repent, He allowed Himself to be water baptized to identify with fallen humanity, whom He came to save. “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented." (Matthew 3:13-15)
3. Water Baptism is Commanded by God.
“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…” (Matthew 28:19)