What is the meaning of baptism? What is its purpose? Should Christians get baptized? Should we not? Are we saved because we get baptized, or is it just a add-on? These questions and more I hope to answer for you today as well as I can.
Baptism. We see it everywhere and in many different places. It is also done in many different ways. We see it in churches around the world. Some people do it in the ocean or sea or lake or pond or…..you know what I mean. Sometimes people are fully submerged and sometimes water is sprinkled on them. But what does the Bible say about all of this? Lets take a look.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I think this verse takes out the question that we shouldn’t get baptized. Jesus, God’s Son calls us to! And if Jesus commands us to, well, then I think we should.
Now I’m going to step on some people’s toes here. I don’t mean to come across offensive, but some people just aren’t going to agree with me on this. So lets just get it over with and if you disagree you can tell me where in the Bible I’m wrong. I would love to hear what you think!
You do not have to get baptized to be saved. I can’t find it anywhere in the Bible where it says that you have to be baptized to be saved. There is even an example of it.
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
This happens right before Jesus dies on the cross. There were two criminals crucified on either side of him. One scoffed at him; the other asked to be remembered in Heaven. Did this man (we don’t even know his name) have a chance to get baptized? No, he didn’t. But Jesus told told him that they would meet in paradise (essentially Heaven).
If you get the chance to be baptized, you should. We are called to. But it is not a necessity for salvation. And not everyone is going to get the chance. So if you get that chance, take it.
How should someone get baptized? Well, I think the best thing to do it to follow Christ’s example.
And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
John, known as John the Baptist, was baptizing in a river.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.
John later baptized Jesus and from what I read here it seems that he was baptized through full immersion. That means totally submerged in water. I believe that’s what we should do too, since Christ did it that way. But I think this is one of those “open-handed” subjects, it doesn’t necessarily have to be followed and replicated.
There is one more thing that I would like to answer and I think that it is the most important question on baptism. What is the purpose or meaning of it? If there was no purpose, Christ wouldn’t have told us to baptize.
Baptism is an external expression of an internal change. It is like a declaration. By getting baptized you’re proclaiming to the world that you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior.
That’s why we baptize. It is an act of faith. I hope we can all take that step.