An act of faith
Colossians 2.12 : "Having been buried with him by baptism, you are also raised in him and with him, by faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
Definition : Ancient Greek "baptizo" means: to dive; swim. As God's commandment, His will is to have all His children baptized in a proper manner.
The scriptures teach us that immersion baptism is the consequence of a thoughtful decision that comes after repentance. It represents the death and burial of the former selfish man to a new life full of grace. By this commitment and by this action, we sign an alliance with our creator; we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior for the payment of our sins. We fully recognize Him as our Lord and Master, our Great King. It is a public act of obedience as a child of God.
Romans 6.4 : "By baptism in his death we were buried with him so that, as Christ was raised by the glory of the Father, so we too would lead a new life."
The importance of baptism.
Baptism is clearly the second element of the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus. God leads us into his sovereignty, it is the normal order of things. It is therefore the responsibility of believers to transmit this knowledge. These instructions continue through the times and oppositions of the world. It is God's command that all believers be baptized. He who abides in Christ must walk as he walked and observe his prescriptions.
Matthew 28.19 : "Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you."
How to be baptized ?
The recommended method is by immersion and not by sprinkling. God leads us to realize the enormity of our sins, it brings us first to repentance that will inevitably lead us eventually to the waters of baptism. This symbol represents this "purification" of sins. It is a permanent action that enables authentic Christians to grow in grace by following the path of life that Jesus Christ has clearly defined for all who desire to be in His Kingdom.
The repentant Jews asked the apostles, "Men brothers, what shall we do ?"
Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins...."
Repentance is a new life, baptism of water is the alliance that confirms it. We leave our old life of fisherman, to be born as a new creature of God. We are dead to our old life being immersed in the water: "it is to die with Jesus". To walk afterwards in newness of life: "it is to live with Jesus". It is the process of salvation that testifies to men and the heavenly world our definitive commitment to serve the Lord. It is a spiritual marriage involving full commitment on our part.
2 Timothy 2.2 : "And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust it to faithful men, who are able to teach it also to others." Suffer with me, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ...."
The Divine Word states that immersion baptism is a decision made by an adult, after deep reflection and sincere repentance. Moreover, it illustrates the death and burial of the former selfish ego. By this decision and by this action, we sign an alliance with our creator; we accept the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the payment of our sins. We truly recognize Him as our Lord and Master, our Great King to come to whom we obey.
We have the divine promise of the precious "gift of the Holy Spirit" :
Acts 2.38 : Peter said to them, "Change your attitude, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
The Bible shows that truth is not just a list of doctrines to debate, but a concrete way of life. Many who claim to be God's representatives have devalued their promises and purpose. Jesus said that those who want to come after Him must be ready to give up everything, even their own lives.
Jesus said, "Those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will not all enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Christ requires nothing but a total, unconditional commitment and dedication from those who want to accept Him as Lord and Savior. Baptism is the covenant we make with our Creator.
Romans 10.9 : "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved, because it is by believing from the heart that we come to justice, and it is by confessing with the mouth that salvation is achieved."
Conclusion : the Bible reveals a great and fantastic destiny for those who will inherit the salvation of God. It also reveals the way in which the character of God grows in us. Conversion is the key to this process, as a sign of purification, baptism is a public act of obedience to our Lord. True conversion is a total surrender of our life and will before God. To those who turn to Him for His love, God makes possible their forgiveness, transformation, and ultimate entry into His glorious Kingdom, as His true sons and daughters.
On the occasion of his own baptism, Jesus Christ Himself showed us the way, for his words were said to John the Baptist: "Let it be done now, for it is fitting for us to do all that is right." (Matthew 3.13).
Do we want to live according to divine instructions or according to the traditions and customs of the world ?
When we apply His Word, our personal alliance with our Creator through baptism inevitably leads us :
"To be like the image of his son, that his Son (Jesus Christ) may be the firstborn of many brethren." (Romans 8.29) Amen!