What is Baptism?
Baptism is a part of God’s Plan of Salvation. Since we all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1, 2) it was necessary for God to provide a way for us to be forgiven (John 3:16). God sent His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins (1 John 4:10). It’s important to note that He had no sins (2 Corinthians 5:21) and He suffered for our sins so we could receive forgiveness (Romans 5:6-8; 1 Peter 2:24).
To receive forgiveness of our sins and receive eternal life we must accept salvation according to the plan that God has made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ. There are steps for each to take to enter into a saved relationship with Christ that includes Baptism.
What do I need to do in order to be Baptized?
The first step is to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christianity is a religion of teaching (Matthew 28:19, 20). One must first hear the Gospel and learn that our Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead before we can be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Consequently, we must hear and understand the Gospel before we can believe it.
The next or second step is to believe that our Lord Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16). Our Lord Jesus told us that unless we believe who He is we will die in our sins (John 8:24). He also said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
The next or third step is to repent of your sins (Acts 17:30, 31). Repentance is being sorry for your sins (2 Corinthians 7:10) and then turning away from them (1 Thessalonians 1:9). You show you have repented by doing good works (Matthew 3:8).
The next or fourth step is to confess that our Lord Jesus is the Christ and the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16). This wonderful truth is the very foundation the Church of Christ is built upon (Matthew 16:18; Acts 4:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 3:11). This simple confession must be made in order to be saved (Romans 10:8-10).
The next or fifth step is to be baptized to be saved Mark 16:16). It is crucial to note that baptism follows belief and baptism does not save a person who does not, repent of sins and believe Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins. Because of this babies cannot be baptized for they are too young to have sin, hear the Gospel, repent of sins, and confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. It is also crucial to note that baptism also follows repentance (Acts 2:38). One cannot be truly baptized who has not truly repented.
|Baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians 2:12).
Therefore, sprinkling or pouring are not proper baptism. You are not saved before you are baptized. Baptism is for the remission [forgiveness] of sins (Acts 2:38). Just as our Lord Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28), we are baptized in order to receive the remission of sins. In baptism the sinner’s sins are washed away by the blood of our Lord Jesus (Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5).