What is baptism?
A lot of people have different thoughts, beliefs, and even misconceptions on what baptism is and what it’s meant to be. As Christians, we need to understand the true meaning and significance behind baptism and how the Bible explains it for our own understanding and so we can also explain it to others.
Here is what Vintage Church believes about baptism:
“Vintage Church holds that baptism is a symbolic practice of the church in which [new] believers in Jesus are immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as public obedience to Jesus Christ and as an outward symbol of the believers’ forgiveness of sin and new life in Jesus Christ.”
A shorter definition of this is that Baptism is an outward expression of inward change.
Because baptism is a symbol and expression of salvation, it’s important to remember that baptism does not bring salvation and is meant to happen immediately after conversion. Many people tend to mix this order up, but a true biblical baptism should happen only one time after someone comes to Christ. In our church, there have been people who have come to us right after their conversion to be baptized, but also people who have come to us years after they were converted, realizing that they have been putting baptism off and they want and need to take that step. Regardless of the circumstance, the important thing to remember is that biblical baptism must be a response to salvation.
Another important truth about biblical baptism is that it is meant to be done by immersion, meaning fully going under the water and then fully coming out of the water. We see this method all throughout Scripture, even in Jesus’s own baptism: “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him” (Matthew 3:16). Baptism by immersion has powerful symbolism. When someone is lowered under the water, their immersion symbolizes the death that Christ died for sin. However, when they are raised up out of the water, this movement symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus.
Why should you be baptized?
The most important reason to be baptized is because it is a biblical command for all Christians. Baptism should be the first act of obedience after salvation (Matthew 28:18–20).
Another reason Christians should be baptized is because it provides accountability. When someone is baptized in a local church, it immediately shows people that Jesus has changed them and they want to share that truth. When people know this, they know that you have stepped into the body of Christ. Christians can then share each others’ burdens, care for each other, and hold one another accountable. This is important because we all need each other!
Lastly, Christians should be baptized because it is a celebration! At Vintage Church, we make a big deal out of baptism, because it is a big deal! Our church gets excited when someone gets baptized because that means that they have been changed by Jesus, and there is nothing better. We want everyone to celebrate and encourage the one getting baptized because becoming a Christian is the greatest decision anyone can ever make.
If you are a Christian and have never been baptized, or if you are not yet a Christian and simply want to start a conversation, we want to help you take next steps. Here are some Scriptures to read on baptism: Romans 6:4, Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 1:14-15, Matthew 28:19, Acts 10:47-48, Ephesians 4:4-6. Check out vcnola.com/trustinjesus for more info on baptism as well. Finally, we are here for you and want to walk through this journey with you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to meet about salvation or baptism.
Picture taken by Vintage Church.