Why Baptism?

I am writing about baptism today because I hope you will trust Christ with all your heart and prayerfully consider following Him in baptism.

Without denigrating other churches which practice differently, I want to give a reason for what we do. In a sense, I will give you my understanding and theology of baptism.

Baptist groups started springing up in England and on the continent in the 1500’s and 1600’s. In my mind, the rise of churches that emphasized baptism by immersion after salvation coincided with the printing press. After the printing of the Bible into the language of the people, people read the Bible and began adopting the practice of the New Testament about baptism.

What is the practice of the New Testament?

First, when people came to faith in Christ, they were baptized. Baptism came after their conversion. This was the common practice in the New Testament. Of course, they were following the example of Jesus who was baptized by John the Baptist to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). They also followed the command of Jesus to go to the world, make disciples, and baptize them (Matt. 28:18-20).

Second, the word baptism means “to dip.” We follow this practice. Those baptized in the New Testament were immersed in water.

Third, baptism in the New Testament marks the believer as a follower of Jesus Christ. I want to be quick to point out that baptism and its mode is not a means of salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8-10).

Fourth, Baptism is an identification with Christ, both in his death and in his resurrection (Rom. 6:1-4). Our baptism in some sense even pictures the death and resurrection of Christ as the believer is buried in the water and raised from the
water. Through Christ’s work, we “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).

Our next baptism will be Sunday night, September 4, at Bogue Falaya Park in Covington. Please join us as we celebrate the newness of life that is in Christ.