"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection." - Romans 6:4-5
Identifying with Christ
As a Christian, it is very important to take steps that help you identify with Christ in every area of your life. God wants each person who follows Him to publicly declare that they are following Christ (Romans 10:9). One of the first steps that a Christian should take to identify with Christ is to be baptized in water. This is the most powerful way in the New Testament that believers identified with Christ. Baptism is an act of worship through which believers express their faith and commitment to Christ. It is a wonderful demonstration of the great love God had in sending His Son to die on the cross for you.
Who Should be Baptized?
In the Bible, only believers in Jesus Christ were baptized. The essence of baptism is the identification with Christ and an “announcement” of a personal relationship with Him. It is a public demonstration of a decision to be a disciple of Christ. Baptism can also be a reconfirmation or rededication of your belief in Christ and the surrendering of your life to His control. If there has not been the first step of yielding your life and will to God and trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins, then there is no “announcement” to make, no reason to identify with Christ. Baptism would have no meaning.
Never was a baby baptized in the New Testament. Children were dedicated to God in the Bible (I Samuel 1:21-28) but never baptized. (Northside Baptist Church has regular dedication ceremonies for parents and their children.) Babies or infants are too young to understand the concept of personal sin and how that sin sent Jesus to the cross. Baptism is a personal decision and not something that someone else decides for us. Baptism is not just for adults, but it is for believers.
The Method of Baptism
The method of baptism in the New Testament and that practiced by Christian for hundreds of years, as well as here at Northside, has been immersion—placing the believer completely under water. The word baptism comes from a Greek word that means the process of immersion, submersion, or to be fully wet. Baptism by immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Likewise, it clearly illustrates the believer’s death to sin and the resurrection of his spirit to the new life he now has in Christ. It is the believer’s identification with Christ.
Your Spiritual Growth
Baptism is not required for salvation, but it is required for obedience. One of the first acts of obedience of the follower of Christ is to follow in His example in baptism (John 14:15). You have already trusted Christ to forgive your sins and give you a new life. Continue your spiritual growth by being obedient to Jesus Christ in baptism.
Follow-up to Baptism
We highly encourage you to get connected into an ABF or Life Group as a place where you can grow and be encouraged in your growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Upcoming Baptism Date:
July 29, 2012