A Christian baptism is an outward testimony of the inward change of a person who has chosen to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who paid the penalty of all sins by dying on the cross and rising again. Getting baptized follows our decision to believe; it does not save us. For the believer, God tells us in the Bible that all believers should be baptized as an act of obedience of making public their commitment to follow Christ. 

“For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Reaching the world with the gospel, followed by individual baptisms, is important to Jesus. It is His desire that all Christians go across the globe to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and with those who have made Jesus their Lord, we are to baptize them. 

“Just before Jesus’ ascension, He said, ‘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 28:19–20).

We must clarify that baptizing believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is not when a believer receives the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of God’s Spirit in the Scripture indicates that believers are indwelled with the Holy Spirit at the moment of conversion. 

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Being immersed in the water is a reminder of Christ dying and being buried. Coming out of the water illustrates Christ’s resurrection. 

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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 6:3-4).

Baptism with water submersion for the believer allows the Christian to come close to experiencing the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection. People have been baptized in pools, horse troughs, and lakes, to name a few. The place makes no difference. If there is no water source available when someone wants to be baptized and, for some reason, can’t wait, pouring a little water over the head works. God is not insisting that baptism has to be total immersion. It is the condition of the heart that matters to God.

Some churches believe in infant baptism. The first of many problems with this is that someone else made the decision for the child, who most are not old enough to talk, much less old enough to decide to believe in Christ. Many believe that the Holy Spirit comes into the child’s soul during infant baptism, making them children of God. Nowhere in the scriptures is infant baptism encouraged.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10: 9-10).

Becoming a Christian and being baptized are the two most important decisions we will ever make. Being baptized is our jumping-off point from no longer living for ourselves, but now we have the honor of living for God’s glory! As Christians, we are to be the hands and feet of Christ by how we love and care for others. With the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can love and obey God and forgive those who have harmed us.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (Psalm 143:10).

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

 God wants us to come to Him and ask Him for wisdom and guidance.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 4-7).

God wants us to think about things that keep our hearts and minds clear from distractions.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

God wants us to take the gospel to the world by telling others about the gospel of Jesus and hopefully have the privilege of leading others into a relationship with Christ, but also live a life that is loving, kind, and encouraging to others. 

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).