What is Biblical Baptism?
Water baptism is an outward expression of an inward decision to follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life. Not only does the Bible command us to be baptized, but Jesus Himself was water baptized by immersion. It is the first step of obedience after accepting Jesus as your Savior.
Acts 2:41, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
Matthew 3:16a, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water...."
A Sign of Identification
Baptism is an outward, public declaration of our inward commitment to Christ. Much like a wedding ring symbolizes a commitment between a husband and a wife, baptism makes a visual statement that says, “I’m following Jesus Christ and I want everyone to know it.”
A Symbol of Jesus
It is a picture of what takes place at the time of salvation – being cleansed and having our sins washed away. It says, “I have died to my old life (going under the water) and I am alive to new life in Christ (coming out of the water).
We were buried therefore with him (Christ) by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. —Romans 6:4-5
A Step of Obedience
In the Bible, as people came to faith in Christ they were baptized. The sequence of events is the same throughout the scriptures; first people profess faith in Jesus Christ and then they are baptized. It is called Believer’s baptism, a baptism that happens after one becomes a believer in Jesus Christ.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” —Matthew 28:18-20
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience to him. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God. At Faith Baptist Church, we practice baptism by immersion (putting under the water) in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (the way that Jesus instructed in Matthew 28:19) because we believe that it is the best picture of spiritual death, burial and resurrection and because it is the type of baptism that Jesus modeled for us when he was baptized by John in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11).