What Is Baptism?

On April 16 (Easter Sunday), we are going to worship Jesus and celebrate changed lives by having a baptism service. With this service just a few weeks away, we thought it would be a great time to talk about what baptism is and why it is so important. We baptize because trusting in Christ and being baptized go together in the New Testament, and baptism is a beautiful picture of the gospel.

Conversion and Baptism Go Together in The New Testament

Getting married and wearing a wedding ring go together in our culture. In a similar way, placing your faith in Jesus and being baptized go together in the New Testament. Wearing a wedding ring does not make you married. Vows do that. Baptism does not cleanse you of your sins or give new life. You are saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9). Baptism is similar to a wedding ring in that they are both a declaration and a symbol loaded with meaning.

Here are a few verses that show how believing in Jesus and being baptized go together in the New Testament:

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Acts 2:38
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:12-13
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip.

Acts 18:8
8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

The Symbolism

Baptism symbolizes being cleansed from your sins, buried with Christ, and raised to newness of life. When you are dunked into the water, this represents being cleansed and forgiven from your sins. Baptism also symbolizes the Christian’s death to his old self and new birth as a new creation. When you are lowered down into the water, this symbolized being crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). When you are raised out of the water, this represents your new birth. Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead. Christians are united with Christ in such a way that we have been crucified with him and raised to newness of life (Col. 3:1-3).

Here are a few verses that speak to the meaning of baptism:

Acts. 22:16
16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Romans 6:3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:11-12
11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Is baptism a next step for you?

If God has made you new and you have not been baptized, we believe it would honor Jesus and be a great step of faith for you to be baptized. Do you trust in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as your only hope for a right relationship with God in this life and for eternity? If you have turned to Christ in faith, have not been baptized, and are interested in pursuing baptism at Sojourn, please email us at info@SojournChurch.net. As stated above, our next baptism service is on Easter Sunday, so let us know right away if you are interested!

We cannot wait to worship the Lord through having individuals publicly declare through baptism that God has saved them by grace and that they want to follow Jesus the rest of their days. We believe all of our hearts will be stirred as we take part in seeing lives “buried” and then raised by a power not of their own. This is our shared story of salvation. Join us to worship Jesus and celebrate changed lives on Easter Sunday!

The Pastors of Sojourn

Jason Kirkland
Lee Wright
Josh Maloy
Jason Berl