4 Important Aspects Of Water Baptism
Water baptism is a sacrament (a sacred act) that goes all the way back to the time of Jesus. After His resurrection Jesus told His disciples (Matthew 28:19), “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them…” Water baptism is a command from Jesus Christ for all new believers, and we’ve seen new converts of every generation obeying this divine command.
The Bible presents several illustrations to help us understand water baptism. Each of these pictures of water baptism shows the old life being put away and the new life emerging. In water baptism, we publicly identify with Jesus, put away the old life of sin, and begin a new life of obedience to Christ. As we go into the water we identify with His death; as we go under the water we identify with His burial; as we come out we identify with His resurrection. In identifying with the work of Christ by faith, we are new creations — old things have passed away and everything about us is made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The word “baptism” actually means immersion — completely covered and soaked. Just as we are completely immersed in the water, we are immersed in our new life with Christ, every fiber of our being is saturated with the life of Jesus Christ.
4. Act of Obedience
Baptism is a way of showing publicly that Jesus has become Lord personally. When the crowd asked Peter what they should do in response to his sermon (Acts 2), he gave them a three-fold answer: repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit. Thousands responded and were added to the fellowship of believers. The biblical pattern is that everyone who is obediently baptized is also added to the family of Christ. By this first act of obedience, we begin life as an active member of the local church.