“What Does Baptism Mean?”
Why do we have to be completely covered by water when we are baptized? God chose immersion in water because it is a very powerful way of showing us that our sins must be forgiven. Believers realise that they need saving from sin and require God’s grace. They go under the water in baptism, and die to an old way of life. They come up out of the water to a new life. In baptism, believers identify with the death of Jesus Christ, who died for us.
Just as Jesus rose from the dead, they also rise from the waters of baptism to “set out on a new life” (Romans 6:4). Now, believers are God’s children, and they desire to please Him. If they do so, He will give them His great gift of everlasting Life. This will happen when Jesus comes to rule the world (Luke 1:32,33). No wonder Jesus regarded baptism as being so important.
Why Do I Need to be Baptized?
You need to be baptized because, like all mankind, you are dying. We have all earned the wage of sin. Paul tells us “the wage is death” (Romans 6:23). Without God, death is the end.
People have a very bad habit of not wanting to think about important issues that they do not like. Death is one of those issues. We must be wise enough to face it. The good news is that God offers us everlasting life; but on His terms. That is fair, as He is the giver of life. Peter tells us, in Acts 2 and 3, that we must take five steps to salvation. They are:
- Believe in Jesus Christ and his message.
- Repent (have a change of mind, realising that we need God and His forgiveness).
- Be converted (turn round and walk towards God).
- Obey Jesus by having our sins washed away in baptism.
- Continue faithfully in God’s way (Acts 2:27-42; 3:18-21).
God always keeps His promises. He will never let us down. As Jesus said, “No one can snatch them out of the Father’s care” (John 10:29).