As a new Christian, you start to think about baptism. Rightfully so.
Personally, I grew up Catholic and I was baptized as a baby. My relationship with God wasn’t personal back then though.
To me, religion felt more about the rules than a personal relationship. And I was never good enough.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I really began exploring Christianity. I started going to church and bible studies. I was learning more and more about the Christian faith. I grew fascinated for the first time in my life.
I got baptized when I was 21. Honestly, I could have gotten baptized sooner but ultimately I’m happy with my decision. It was all in God’s timing.
What about you? Do you believe that you’re ready for baptism?
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What is baptism according to the Bible?
Simply put, baptism means to dip or immerse someone into water.
In Christianity, the purpose of baptism is to declare your faith publicly. You’re letting the world know you believe in Jesus and have become a new person.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB).
Just to clarify, baptism is not for unbelievers.
It’s for Christian believers who have put their faith in Jesus.
What does baptism symbolize?
You may be thinking: “Okay, so I know what baptism is now, but what’s the point of it?”
Baptism symbolizes death and resurrection.
Let me explain.
Being immersed into water symbolizes death. Essentially, you’re dying with Christ. You’re putting to death your old ways.
Rising up from the water symbolizes resurrection. So, you’re rising with Christ. You’re becoming new!
Is baptism required for salvation?
Some may come along and tell you baptism is necessary for salvation.
This isn’t true. Baptism is NOT required to be saved.
Here are a couple of passages that confirm this:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV).
“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law,” (Romans 3:28 NIV).
Both of these verses confirm we are saved by grace through faith.
NOT FROM WORKS. It’s not anything we do that saves us. It’s what God does.
Baptism is a work, therefore baptism is not what saves us.
Believers Baptism vs. Infant Baptism
I eluded to this earlier in the post. I was baptized as a baby when I was Catholic. This is referred to as infant baptism.
Some denominations practice infant baptism. Most of these denominations believe baptizing infants is a practice that will dedicate that child to God.
On the other hand, some denominations believe in believers’ baptism. This is when you get baptized AFTER you believe in Jesus.
Personally, I don’t think my infant baptism did much for me. I felt more at peace getting baptized after I knew I truly believed in Jesus.
The Baptism of Jesus
You might be surprised by this, but Jesus got baptized too!
“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,” (Matthew 3:13-15 NIV).
Jesus got baptized to be obedient to God. He also did it as an example for us.
It’s not necessary for salvation, but it should be a desire when we’re saved.
Water Baptism vs. Holy Spirit Baptism
The New Testament talks about water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism. So far, we’ve been talking about water baptism.
Holy Spirit baptism is different.
“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” (Matthew 3:11 NIV).
“I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit,” (Mark 1:8 NIV).
These verses talk about Holy Spirit baptism. Holy Spirit baptism isn’t something we do. It’s something God does for us.
When we become believers, God sends His Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
The Holy Spirit comforts us, encourages us, teaches us, and helps us live out holier lives.
More Bible Verses About Baptism
“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 NIV).
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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 6:3-4 NIV).
“Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead,” (Colossians 2:12 NIV).
Are you ready for baptism?
Don’t worry too much about being “ready”. As long as you’re a believing and practicing Christian, then you’re ready for baptism.
Let me know in the comments below how you feel about baptism. Do you think you’re ready? I’d love to hear from you!
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