Baptism is an obedient faith response to God’s gracious provision of Jesus.  It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood and controversial subjects in Christianity; yet, it is one of the most beautiful acts of blessing that God has given us to experience.

Baptism is a both a picture and an illustration. – a symbolic act that best illustrates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is the only way that one can come into contact with the blood of Jesus, and it is by the blood of Jesus that we are saved through faith.

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1:7 (NIV)

“In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”   Ephesians 1:7 (NIV)

A person first hears the Word of God then has a conviction of the heart through the power of the Holy Spirit, which reveals his or her own sinful nature.  Faith in Christ comes by the Spirit of God.  When one accepts that Jesus is the Son of God who died upon the cross for their sin, was buried, and rose from the dead, that all who will believe might receive eternal life; he then makes a conscious decision to turn from a life of sin and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Baptism is the public announcement of this decision.

Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 10:32 (NIV)

A study of the scriptures is essential to understanding the important and vital nature of baptism. Here are but a few scriptures that should be considered:


  1. Baptism is important because Jesus both modeled and taught baptism.

“Jesus came…and was baptized by John.”  (Mark 1:9)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordon 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.’  Then John consented.  As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love:  with him I am well pleased.”   Matthew 3:13-17 (NIV)

“…having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”  (Col 2:12 (NIV)

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘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, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.’”  Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the spirit.”   John 3:5-6 (NIV)


  1. Baptism is part of the process of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this:  God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:36-38 (NIV)


  1. Baptism is the point in time where we can be confident of God’s forgiveness and our rebirth into a forgiven state of being.

“What are you waiting for?  Get up and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.”  Acts 11:16 (NIV)


  1. Baptism should be a source of unity and not disunity among believers.

There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6 (NIV)


  1. Baptism celebrates the unbeliever’s union with Christ and the hope of a new life in Him.

“Don’t you know that all of us who 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)


There exist a call today within religious communities to restore New Testament baptism by many churches of differing faith and backgrounds.  Take the following as an illustration:

From The Naked Church, by Wayne Jacobsen, The Savior’s Community Church

“Be Baptized.”  “An unessential outward symbol”, would unfortunately sum up the opinion of many about baptism.  In the New Testament that act of obedience consummated people’s desire to follow Christ.

“Look here is water.  Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”  The Ethiopian’s words to Philip underline the depth of this conviction about baptism.  I’ve nursed along many new believers only to find them unwilling to follow Jesus if it means they must be baptized.  Their problem with baptism may be no bigger than the embarrassment that comes from being wet in front of a group of people, but if they won’t allow Jesus that far, they usually won’t go much further either.  Though I’ve met people with a vibrant faith who had not been baptized, their omission was on account of ignorance rather than refusal.  Upon learning what Scripture taught about baptism, they willingly completed that step.

Peter tells us that these two steps, repentance and baptism, made in concert with each other and in sincerity yield two immediate benefits.  The first is forgiveness of sins, what Hebrews call a ‘cleansed conscience’.  The second result is what Peter called receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

From Difficult Passages in the New Testament, by Dr. Robert Stein, Bethel Theological Seminary

“In a similar way the present-day practices of baptizing people long before faith (infant baptism) or after faith (Believer’s baptism) make it difficult to understand the New Testament teaching on the subject…In the Book of Acts however, baptism is intimately connected with conversion.  With few (if any) exceptions it occurred on the same day.  The Philippian jailer was baptized the very night of his conversion (Acts 16:33); the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized immediately (Acts 8:36-38).  Baptism for them was less a testimony and confession to the world than part of the process of becoming a Christian.”

A person must first exercise their faith in Jesus Christ, believing that He died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead…then be baptized into that death for the remission of sin.  Therefore, no infant or child who does not or cannot understand God’s redemptive power to save can make such a commitment


   Modeled and Taught by Jesus

   Accepting Christ as Lord

   Confident in God's and Rebirth

   Source of Unity

   Celebrates Union and Hope

   Other Illustrations