When you hear the word “baptism” – what do you think of? We hear a variety of responses. If you are visiting this page…awesome! We are excited for you to learn more about what it means.
Here is one misconception – a wide misunderstanding, if you will, about baptism: getting baptized has nothing to do with a person actually getting and receiving eternal life. The cool thing about eternal life (otherwise known as “salvation” or “receiving Jesus”, or other ways we sometimes describe it) – is that is a free gift. We don’t have to do to receive it.
Getting baptized, however, should be a next step after accepting salvation through Jesus. Let me explain…
Baptism is a public testimony identifying a believer with Christ. In New Testament times, slaves were often baptized after they were sold. This showed the community that the slave now belonged to a new master. In the same way, by being baptized a new believer is declaring to everyone that he now belongs to Christ.
Water baptism is also a symbol of a believer’s spiritual regeneration in Christ. When a believer goes under the water, it symbolizes that his old life is dead and is being buried with Christ. When he comes up out of the water, it symbolizes that he has been raised to a new life (Romans 6:3-4).
Since baptism is a picture of the “new birth” experience of becoming “dead to sin and alive to God,” only the person having had that experience can be baptized. Philip said in Acts 8:36-37, “If you believe … you may.” Baptism is true baptism only if the person being baptized has already been saved.