Repent and be baptized...
And Peter said to them "Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins; and you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit."
"Any words on baptism, including these, must be seen as human efforts to understand a holy event. Our danger is to swing to one of two extremes: we make baptism either too important or too unimportant. Either we deify it or we trivialize it. One can see baptism as the essence of the gospel or as irrelevant to the gospel. Both sides are equally perilous."
Baptism is a response to your faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Peter reiterates Jesus in Acts 2:38 saying, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins.” Jesus has conquered sin and death for you; baptism is an opportunity to testify to the Gospel that has freed you.
Absolutely not. Paul is clear in his letter to the Ephesians. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (v. 8-9) Salvation is freely given through our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul extends further, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confessed, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) The grace of Jesus Christ and grace alone saves us.
The greek word for baptism is βαπτίζω (baptizo) meaning to immerse, submerge, or to make overwhelmed. We can see this illustrated in Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:16. “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water…” In following Jesus, we are fully immersed in water.
Following the examples we are given in scripture, baptism always follows believing in Christ and repentance from sin. Since the christening you received came before a personal commitment to Jesus Christ it is important that you be baptized after putting your faith in Him.
Baptism shows the world that you have given over your life to Jesus Christ. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passes away; behold new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) It indicates that you have died to self, been buried in Christ, and raised to a new life in Him. Baptism declares to the world that you are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the salvation and freedom you have received through Christ Jesus. If you are not already involved in a community of believers we urge you to find people to surround you with the love and encouragement as you continue to walk in His footsteps. As Paul explains to the Ephesians, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” You will have spiritual highs and spiritual lows, but take heart, Jesus walks with you through it all. Look to Him and his word as you take each step through life. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a toke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
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Do you have questions about baptism, or want to know when the next baptism class is? Let us know and we will get back to you.