Baptism was originally, and is to this day, Jesus’ intended way for a person to identify with Him. Once you are convinced that Jesus is your Savior and Lord, and that what He did in His death and resurrection is enough to make you right before God, you should be baptized! Baptism announces publicly that you are a believer, a follower of Jesus. However, it cannot save you; only one’s faith in Jesus can do that. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Baptism is a picture of what happens when a person believes in Jesus––the promises that come from His death and resurrection are applied to the believer: forgiveness of the guilt of all sins, the starting of a fresh new life with the Spirit of God working in your heart, and the certainty that God will also raise you from the dead someday.
WHY BE BAPTIZED
One might ask why a person should be baptized. What is its purpose? Why be baptized at all? Among others, three reasons are clear:
Baptism is how a person is to express his or her faith in Jesus. No other expression (for example, raising one’s hand in a service, or walking forward at an invitation) is commanded by Jesus.
Jesus commanded it. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Baptism shows others that you are a follower of Jesus. (Acts 18:8)
When you are baptized, you are openly identifying with God’s people. The local church then has the responsibility of including you into their fellowship for the purpose of protection, instruction, growth and service.
IS BAPTISM FOR ME?
"He then brought them out and asked, 'Men, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved'"...then immediately he and all his family were baptized. (Acts 16:30-31)
The only qualification for being baptized is for a person to believe that Jesus Christ died for his or her sins as the Savior and was raised from the dead as the Lord. If you do, then baptism is for you! In the New Testament times, baptism always followed believing in Jesus. There is no record of any people claiming to be Christians who had not been baptized, nor any who were baptized before they accepted Jesus personally. (Acts 2:38, 2:41, 8:12-13, 16:14-15, 16:31-33, 18:8).