why do we get baptized in water
Water Baptism - Many People Ask If It s Required for Salvation Baptism isn t an act that gets us into heaven - it is faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord that offers that assurance. Baptism (by full immersion as taught in the Bible) is an act of obedience that should be an immediate part of our acceptance of the gift of grace offered by Jesus Christ. But it does not mean that one who truly gives their heart to Jesus on a death bed, in the heat of warfare, or in a crashing airplane, will be kept out of heaven because they failed to be baptized. The thief on the cross next to Jesus didn t have time to be baptized before he died, but he had an opportunity to believe in Jesus and put his trust in Him, and Jesus responded by saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). True faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross for our sins is sufficient for salvation. Christ has already done everything. By definition, His grace doesn t require any additional "works" by us.
That being said, Jesus Christ commands us to be baptized (Matthew 28:18-20), and therefore, all believers should be baptized. Immediately following Christ s command, the Book of Acts describes the practice of administering baptism to almost every group or individual who believed in the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles (Acts 2:37-41; 8:5-13; 8:35-39; 9:10-18; 10:34-48; 16:13-15; 16:30-33; 18:8; and 19:1-6). Water Baptism - What does it symbolize? According to the Bible, the symbolism of baptism declares that three things happen to believers who are baptized: (1) they die with Christ to their old self; (2) they rise with Christ to become a new creature; and (3) they are incorporated in their new life with a living community which looks for the coming of the Lord (Romans 6:1-11). Contrary to what some denominations teach, it seems obvious that a Christian s baptism must necessarily require a responsible decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and therefore, must be delayed until an age of reason or discretion (knowing right from wrong within God s perspective).
In short, Jesus Christ commands baptism for His followers. Although the act of baptism does not cause eternal salvation, it seems that any believer who refuses baptism should truly examine his or her conversion. "Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age " (Matthew 28:18-20).
Why do we baptize by immersion in water? The Greek word used for baptism is baptizе, which means Бto plunge, dip immerseБ something in water. Water baptism symbolizes the believerБs total trust in, and total reliance on, the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as a commitment to live obediently to Him.
It also symbolizes unity with all the saints ( ), that is, with every person in every nation on earth who is a member of the body of Christ ( ). Water baptism expresses this and more, but it is not an entrance into Christianity. Instead we are baptized because our Lord commanded it and because we obey Him. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy SpiritБ ( ). Before we are baptized, we must come to believe that we are sinners in need of salvation ( ). We must also believe that Christ died on the cross to atone for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was resurrected to assure our place in heaven ( ). We then turn to Jesus, asking Him to forgive our sins and to be our Lord and Savior, and the moment we do that we are born again and we begin to die to ourselves and live for Christ ( ). We are then ready to get baptized. Water baptism symbolizes burial with our Lord; so we are baptized into His death on the cross and are no longer slaves to self or sin ( ).
When we are raised out of the water, we are symbolically resurrectedБraised to our new life in Christ to be with Him forever, born into the family of our loving God ( ). The fact that baptism is not a prerequisite for salvation is best seen in the example of the criminal on the cross ( ). This self-confessed sinner came to acknowledge Jesus as his Lord while dying on a cross next to Him, and he asked for salvation and was forgiven of his sins. Although he never experienced water baptism, at that moment he was baptized into ChristБs death, and he then was raised to life by the power of ChristБs word ( ). Christians have been commanded to be baptized, and we should do so out of obedience to, and love for, our Lord Christ Jesus ( ). Water baptism by immersion seems to be the biblical method of baptism because of its symbolic representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
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