What Is Baptism?
Baptism is one of the most important steps a person can make after they have given their life to Jesus Christ; it is an outward expression of an inner change. Baptism is a beautiful symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as we go under the water (buried with Christ), and then come back out (raised with Christ). It is not baptism that saves us; Scripture makes it clear that there is no action we can do that saves us. It is through our faith in what Christ has done that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9).
(Other Scriptures: 1 Cor. 15:3-4, 2 Cor. 5:17, Rom. 6:4)
Who Should Be Baptized?
The simple answer to this question is anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. Every example of baptism recorded in the New Testament involves someone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (Acts 8:36-38; 16:30-33; 18:8). It is always after their conversion.
Why Should I Be Baptized?
Baptism is a step of obedience that demonstrates our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20 that His followers should be baptized as part of the mission of the church. Second, baptism puts us in the footsteps of Jesus. We are told in the Gospels about Jesus' baptism by John in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9).
Why Do We Baptize By Immersion?
Every baptism in the New Testament is by immersion. The word baptize (baptizo in the Greek) means "to immerse" or "dip under water." We use the word baptize straight from the original Greek word, but if it were translated to English, we would probably be talking about the meaning of "being dunked."
I Was Baptized As An Infant...
Infant baptism is not taught in the New Testament. It actually began out of a belief that baptism saves us from hell. Because of this belief, infants were baptized for their own protection. However, Scripture teaches that it is the Grace of Christ through faith in Him that saves us, not baptism.
If you were baptized as an infant, you would not have been able to understand what it means to follow Christ or make the choice. It was an expression of your parents’ faith and their love for you. Being baptized now would be a demonstration of your own faith and choice to embrace Christ.
I Was Not Baptized By Immersion...
You may have been baptized by sprinkling or pouring as an adult and made the decision after you chose to follow Christ. It was a significant event in your life and you may even feel like being baptized again would betray that previous experience. We appreciate that, and we do not want to minimize those feelings.
A thought...if Jesus was immersed, and He chose this way to picture your burial and resurrection with Him, why not go the extra mile and be immersed also? It will not subtract from your previous experience. It will show an additional willingness to follow Him. Baptism is not a ritual, but an act of faith and obedience. You are not making less of what you did before, but adding to it! Your act of faith may even encourage others!