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4 Things You Should Know About Baptism

Why in the world do people get dunked in water? What's the big deal about baptism? 

Is it for the super-spiritual people? Should I do it?

I'm sure you've asked yourself some, if not all, of these questions regarding baptism. When I (Brandon) began going to church I had no real understanding of what baptism was. It wasn't even on my radar. I was totally clueless.

But then I learned what it meant. And then I got baptized. In fact, my wife, Sara, and I both got baptized one after another. It was a really cool day as we started our journey of faith together and we got to share that moment together as well.

But why was it a "really cool day?" After all, we simply got dunked in some water, right?

Well, there's a ton more to baptism than simply getting wet. So let's look at what the Bible says about it.


4 Things You Should Know About Baptism

On our about page, we include some details about what we, as a church, believe about a number of things. One of which is what we believe about salvation. Below is what is said:
Salvation [to be saved] is God’s gift to man. No one can ever make up for sin by any amount of good works or self-improvement. Salvation can only be found through trusting and following Jesus Christ, who died as a living sacrifice. When one hears the message of Jesus, the Bible says that the response should be to confess that Jesus is Lord, repent [turn away] from sin, be baptized like Jesus was, and continue a life of following Jesus Christ in faith.

[John 6:47, 14:6; Acts 2:38, 3:19, 19:18; Romans 6:23, 10:9; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21; Revelation 2:10]

Why would we include being baptized as a part of our response to God's gift of grace through Jesus Christ? 

Here are 4 things you should know about baptism.

1. Jesus Was Baptized

In the opening of the Gospel According to Mark we are introduced to John the Baptist. And no, he was not the founder of the baptist denomination (in case you were wondering). This guy, John, was presenting a simple message - repent and be baptized for the kingdom of God is coming. 

Before Jesus comes onto the scene, John was saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptize with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit" (Mark 1:7-8 NASB).

While John was baptizing people simply with water, Jesus would baptize with a greater baptism - one that included the Holy Spirit.

Then we see Jesus come onto the scene and be baptized:

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” - Mark 1:8-11 ESV
Not only was Jesus baptized by John, but upon coming out of the water, The Spirit descended on Him. 

This is an interesting detail that relates to the second thing you should know about baptism.

2. The First Gospel Message Contained a Command to Repent and Be Baptized

In Acts 2 we find the apostle Peter preaching to a crowd of Jewish people. He is proclaiming the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, He died, was raised from the dead, and is your only hope for salvation.

When the people heard the words Peter was proclaiming, they were:

pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:37-38 NASB
The people clearly believed Jesus was who Peter was proclaiming He was. They wanted to know what they should do and Peter answers them with repentance and baptism. 

If you recall what happened in Jesus' baptism above, you'll see a connection with the gift that is received. As Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Peter said that you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

So, Jesus was baptized and it was commanded by Peter as a response to the good news of Jesus in his first Gospel message post-resurrection. 

3. Baptism Immerses You/Joins You in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus

Paul makes this specific point very clearly in two different letters - Romans and Colossians. 

This is what he says in Romans:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him 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. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Forone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin,once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. - Romans 6:3-11 ESV
This is what he says in Colossians:

in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. - Colossians 2:11-14 NASB

4. What Are You Waiting For? - The Question Preceding Paul's Baptism

There are a lot of other passages that talk about baptism, but this article is already quite long. 

This all comes down to this question: what are you waiting for? 

When Paul had an encounter with Jesus, he was blinded while on his way to Damascus. When he arrived to Damascus he met a man named, Ananias. Remember, he is still unable to see.

This is what happened next:

12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathersappointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth;15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ - Acts 22:12-16 ESV

What About You?

Throughout the New Testament there is a pattern. The Gospel of Jesus is preached and one of the things people do in response is to be baptized.

Jesus saves, let us make that clear. His blood is what makes it possible for us to receive salvation. As was quoted above, "When one hears the message of Jesus, the Bible says that the response should be to confess that Jesus is Lord, repent [turn away] from sin, be baptized like Jesus was, and continue a life of following Jesus Christ in faith."

How have you responded to Jesus?

Have you trusted Him with your life? Have you confessed that He is Lord? Have you turned away from your sins and toward Him? Have you been baptized like Jesus was? Are you following Him daily?

Where are you at?

If you haven't taken this step, you have the opportunity to change that. If you would like to talk more about baptism, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What are you waiting for?

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