WHY BELIEVERS’ BAPTISM?

Different Christian groups may affirm different understandings of the purpose and effect of baptism, but with few exceptions, all branches of Christ’s church practice baptism because Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:19). The question for you as a new believer or. a newly inducted member of a Baptist church is:

“Why should I be baptized by immersion?”

To follow Christ’s example.

The Gospels tell us that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17). Based on verse 16, “And when Jesus had been bap­tized, just as he came up from the water . . . ” ( emphasis added), Baptists practice baptism by full-body immersion, which is our understanding of the method used by Jesus and the earliest Christians.

As a public confession of Christian faith.

The early Christians, after gladly receiving the gospel, were baptized to show others that they were to be counted among the follow­ers of Christ (Acts 2:41). In the same way, Christians today proclaim their faith publicly through the act of being baptized. Baptism is an outward act portraying an inward change, namely, a person’s transformation through a saving relationship with Jesus. For this reason, a baptismal service usually is open to the public. One of the first opportunities a new Christian has to share his or her faith is ·when standing in the baptismal waters before witnesses.

As a symbolic death to sin and resurrection to new life.

In Romans 6:4, the apostle Paul explains baptism as a metaphoric or symbolic reenactment of Christ’s own death and resurrection. In the act of being lowered into the baptismal water, a person is declaring, “I am burying my sinful life, everything about me that is not pleasing to Christ.” When that person is raised from the water, just as Jesus arose from the grave, he or she is saying by this act, “From now on I will live the new life in Christ.