What is Baptism?
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in the water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior; the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the Final resurrection of the dead. Being a Church ordinance, it is aprerequisite to the privileges of Church membership and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). It is the first public act of a believer in his confession of faith in Christ. It is ordinarily the door into the visible, local church. It is the initial ordinance (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; 1 Corinthian 12:12-14; 1 Peter 3:21).
The act of baptism involves obligation on the part of the believer to promote the cause of Christ represented by the work of the church. The true New Testament Church is a soul-saving, baptizing, teaching, preaching, evangelistic institution and the baptized believer is now a part of that great missionary, worldwide ministry. We are united by the Spirit in the worship of God in praise, in thanksgiving, in prayer and in the diffusion of the saving message of Christ to every creature. We are joined together in the body of our Lord for instruction, for spiritual growth and for mutual helpfulness. It is a great, glorious, and mighty significant day when we are baptized into the body of Christ, the bride and Church of our Lord.