Baptism in Water
Acts 2 tells us that on the first day of the Church, when 3,000 people became Christians – they were baptised after they believed. Some churches baptise babies by sprinkling their head with water. That misses the point of the word and what it means to be baptised.
The word baptise is a transliterated word. Just as the Pacific islands had no word for faith, there is no one word in English that means the same as the Greek word baptizo. The New Testament was written in Greek originally and the word baptizo means to drench, dip or immerse with a sense of a change of identity occurring. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but essentially when you pickle an onion, you baptise it in vinegar!
In Acts 8 the Ethiopian convert is immediately baptised, going down into the water. That makes more sense than being sprinkled!
Baptism by being fully immersed brings some powerful imagery with it. The word carries a sense that a change will occur, but it is also like a burial service. As we go down into the water we are showing that our old self has died and been buried and then as we come out of the water we are symbolising that we have been raised into new life.
So getting baptised by full immersion is identifying with Jesus and what he achieved for us by dying on the cross, being buried and rising again. It’s a celebration in front of family and friends of your new life that carries spiritual significance. You will never forget getting baptised!
Ask your small group leader or pastor about getting baptised.
Pray: Thank God that everything that happened to Jesus is now true of you too.
Recommended extra reading
Preparing for baptism (Tim Chester)
Tim Chester's booklet helpful explains what baptism is all about in more detail. Like a window, baptism helps us see what a Christian is and what it means to live the Christian life. Baptism expresses a Christian s new hope, new family and new life. It s like a funeral, naming ceremony and wedding rolled into one!