Last year I had the joy of baptizing several from our church. All had given testimony to their personal faith in Jesus, and it was exciting to see them follow the Lord in this important step.
Jesus Himself gave the command to His disciples, “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” (Matthew 28:19). Our word “baptize” comes from the Greek baptizo, which literally means to dip or immerse.
Baptism doesn’t save a person, only faith in Jesus can do that–“For by grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). But when a person turns to God in faith, the first step of obedience to the Lord is to be baptized.
Let me share with you four facets of baptism. First, baptism Identifies a person as one who has put their trust in Jesus. Second, the act of baptism Imitates how Jesus died and was buried (you go under the water), and how He rose again (you come up out of the water). Third, baptism Indicates from the outside that you have been washed clean from sin on the inside (1 John 1:7). Fourth, baptism Initiates you into a new life, where you begin to walk daily with Jesus as your Lord.
I didn’t learn to swim until I was 13 years old. To pass swim class we had to jump off a floating dock and swim to a place designated by our instructor. I’d been afraid in the past, but finally I decided to take the plunge. Now I can swim. In a sense, baptism is like taking the plunge into the Christian life. And good news: our Instructor has gone before you and will never leave you on your own.