Have You Been Baptized?
Most Christians get baptized when they’re very young, but the truth is: they don’t really remember it, or know why.
It’s an act that our parents had performed on us to introduce us to the Church – and while we’re grateful for having experienced it, what does it really mean to be “baptized”? It’s something that surprisingly few people dive deeply into and ponder. Before continuing this post – you may want to ask yourself why you were baptized?
We have found that in our community, especially with new comers that the vast majority of people that have been baptized – don’t even really know the history behind it.
Odds are if you’re reading this – you’ve either been baptized or you’re interested in doing so.
There are some great options for those who have converted to get baptized as adults.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of baptism and reasons you should consider getting baptized if you haven’t – this post is for you!
How To Keep Learning About The Bible
Being baptized introduces one to the Christian faith, but there are other ways to continue being a faithful follower to God.
If you’d like to continue learning about the Bible, you should consider signing up for our Daily Bible Verse text messages.
Most people don’t pick up the Bible and read it every day – so while they have likely read most parts at some points in their lives, we tend to forget things over time.
A daily reminder of a Bible verse ties up more deeply to our Christian faith.
A History Lesson On Baptism
We most commonly refer “Baptism” as a water baptism. Not surprisingly, water baptism had it’s roots in the Old Testament.
Throughout the Hebrew Bible, Israel had a responsibility to cleanse themselves before they could approach God. When the Tabernacle and then later when the Temple still existed, Jewish law required immersion in water if someone was found to be contaminated, for example having contact with a dead body:
“Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening. Whoever touches a dead person, the body of anyone who has died, and does not cleanse himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from Israel; because the water for impurity was not thrown on him, he shall be unclean. His uncleanness is still on him.” (Numbers 19:7, 13)
The Gospels of the New Testament speak of a Jewish prophet named John who came from around the wilderness of Judea, to preach a message of repentance to any Jewish person who would listen. Jewish people from Jerusalem and all of Judea came to him to be immersed in the Jordan River, where they would confess their sins to a local crowd and prepare their hearts for Jesus.
The word “baptize” is really just a transliteration of a Greek word “baptizo” and it means to immerse in liquid. Baptism is a sacred act of being plunged beneath the surface of the water by another believer and then immediately being brought back out of the water.
All of this paints a powerful picture that becomes a symbol of a believer’s new life in Christ. This one act represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a demonstration of His death, His burial, and His resurrection.
Death represents what we read in Ezekiel:
“Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.”
and in Romans:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
What Did The Bible Say About Baptism?
God says when we sin, we die, physically our bodies are constantly decaying and being corrupted, therefore we all die and return to the ground, but it is also a spiritual death, where we no longer properly relate to a Holy God. This is where Jesus comes in:
“the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
Jesus, came into a dying world, offering life. Jesus knew that the wages of sin was death because it was our sin that led to His death.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Secondly, when someone is immersed in water, it represents a burial.
It means that death does not have to be a curse, but infact it is a blessing, death through the burial becomes a door to life everlasting.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
What baptism represents is your decision to lose your life for Christ’s sake and Christ partnering with you in your new life. Through Baptism you are symbolically participating in Christ’s death as well as your own, it is a testimony that when Jesus Christ died, the Christian also died with him.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans 6:3–5)
Which brings us to our third point regarding baptism: Ressurection. That when we come back up out of the water, we demonstrate that we are dead to sin, but alive in Christ! Baptism demonstrates that our hearts were once slaves to sin, and against the will of God, but no longer, but rather a spiritual cleansing has taken place in the soul.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
And that is a cause to celebrate! From slavery to freedom, from defeat to victory, from death to life.
What If You Don’t Get Baptized?
A popular question that is often asked: What happens to me if I love Jesus Christ, but I’m not baptized?
We have one example of this, at the crucifixion, one of the thieves responded in saving faith to the hope that is in Jesus Christ, and was taken to paradise that very day. The thief was not baptized, nor did he live a righteous life, his only salvation came from his faith in Jesus Christ, and this is the same for all believers.
“for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26–27)
But Baptism is not something to treat lightly, it is an ordinance from God along with Communion and Lord’s day, and if willfully neglected is a sin.
There are very good reasons to understand and participate in believers baptism. It shows the world that we belong to Jesus and have indeed become worthy to be called “children of God”. It’s a statement that our identity, eternal future, and spiritual freedom are found only in the person and work of Jesus Christ.