Bible Study: The Importance of Baptism
Written by Christi Given | December 4, 2014
PI Girls, as you know, I love reading God’s Word and writing a couple of articles a month on a “Bible study” topic for you. My prayer is that these pieces will deepen your faith, stir a hunger for more truth and spark an interest in other facets of your relationship with Christ. Feel free to personally message me at facebook.com/ChristiGiven with any other additional questions, either based on these articles or for personal advice. May God bless you all.
What is baptism? The word from the original Greek means “to immerse.” We think immerse in water, correct? Yes, that is exactly what happens when someone is baptized, in the Christian biblical sense. The word immerse means “to submerge or dip in liquid.” Some synonyms for this term are interesting and I want you to just think of these terms prior to learning about the importance of and reasons why we get baptized as Christians. Some other terms similar to immerse: “absorb in, occupy with, engage in, involve in, bury in.”
Wow, pretty interesting terms, wouldn’t you say? My question for you, depending on how serious you are about your faith and relationship with God: Do you desire to be immersed with Christ? Do you desire to be engaged in and absorbed in the things of The Lord? I surely do! Romans 6:4 confirms this burial relationship we have with Christ, but we will rise with Him in glory too! Wow, how powerful!
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. (Romans 6:4)
Baptism is a public declaration of your faith and is also very significant in being born again. Being born again spiritually is not just what happens inside; it also manifests outwardly in your daily living. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, a Jewish teacher and Pharisee in biblical times, and explained to Him about those who can see the Kingdom of God and how a person can enter eternity with Him with the New Covenant. He said you MUST be born again and be baptized not only of water, but of the Spirit.
What does this mean? Some theologians and scholars may teach salvation by faith alone, and some say you have to be baptized to be saved. Let’s just see what the Bible says instead of controversial debate. John 3:3-8 in the Holy Bible says, “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’ ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Each person makes their own choices and can work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). We know we receive the Holy Spirit when we accept and receive Jesus as Lord of our lives and confess that He is the Son of God. I believe baptism is also a very important and significant part of a Christian’s life and is something you will want to share with the world when you are in love with Jesus and know why you believe what you believe. Just like when you are in love with your future husband you will want to get married, and it is not only a confession and commitment, but also a large expression of your love for that person. The same goes for baptism: You are a new person, a new creature in Christ and you will WANT to share the news!
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
Why Is Baptism Important?
1. Even Jesus, the Son of God, was baptized: Jesus Christ always led us by example in how He lived. The Gospels are filled with stories and examples of eyewitness accounts of how Jesus lived His life. As Christ followers, we are trying to become more like Jesus and more like The Lord so we can share the good news of eternal life with the world. Let us all follow Christ and then lead others by example, amen?
2. It is biblical: Don’t just base your faith off of someone’s opinion. Don’t base your faith off your parents or your pastor, even—granted, you can get guidance, but you should ALWAYS (even with Project Inspired or anything online), always make sure it is in the Bible. If God didn’t say it and it isn’t confirmed by the Word, then you don’t have scriptural backing. I love reading God’s Word because it is reliable, true and sharper than any two-edged sword.
3. Baptism is a declaration of your faith: When you are in love, you want to shout it from the rooftops! When you are in love with Jesus, you want to constantly be in the Word, worship and tell your loved ones about your newfound life and new beginning! Your faith is exciting and should be celebrated! Amen?!
4. Baptism is honorable to God: Not only is it important to consecrate yourself to The Lord and make every decision to honor Him in your life, but when we choose to be unashamed about our faith, this pleases God.
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)
5. Baptism represents life and death: The Greek definition of the word baptism means to “immerse.” The act of being dunked under water and being brought up out of the water symbolizes the death and resurrection we will experience as believers in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. When we believe that Jesus died on the cross at Calvary for our sins 2,000 years ago and rose again on the third day, we are partaking in that symbolically. The act of being dunked under the water is representative of the old man or past dying and the new life springing forth. This is different than being sprinkled with water; it is very powerful and something happens when you get physically baptized under water. The Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you feel God’s overwhelming presence and love.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him… (Matthew 3:16)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
6. Baptism is a powerful decision: I was baptized at the age of 12 and knew God was so real when I confessed Jesus publicly as Lord of my life. Even though I believed as a toddler, I was able to make my own personal choice as a preteen and knew Jesus was Lord of all! No one can make you believe…not even God makes you, let alone forces you to be baptized without the choice…so to make that bold decision is so wonderful and powerful!!!
I pray each and every one of you calls upon the name of Jesus to be saved from sin—no sin is too big to forgive! God loves you so much He sent His Son Jesus to die for YOU! Ask Jesus in your heart, get plugged into a good Bible-believing and preaching church and make that impact of choosing to be baptized—you will never regret it! I am praying for you! I love you, PI Girls!
PI Girls, have you been baptized? Comment below!