If you’re interested in becoming a Christian, chances are you have some questions about why baptism is such an important part of the process. Here’s what you need to know about Christian baptism and the meaning behind it.
Why Is Baptism Important?
In general, the act of baptism is important because Jesus instructed His disciples—and, by extension, all Christians—to use it as the means for bringing others into the fold. Matthew 28:18-20 says: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
In fact, John 3:22 suggests that Jesus first baptized the disciples before sending them out to baptize others: “After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.” This highlights the importance of Christian baptism from the very beginning of the history of this faith. Baptism also serves more specific religious and social purposes, all of which mark the beginning of a person’s new life as a follower of God.
3 Reasons Why Baptism Is Important
Although it’s possible to embrace Christian beliefs and practices without taking part in this act, getting baptized is an essential part of becoming a Christian for three main reasons. Let’s explore the significance of each.
1. Personal Identification With Christ
The journey of faith begins when people come to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Although this is an important step, baptism allows believers to officially renounce a life of sin in order to become united with Christ instead. It effectively represents the death of your old life and the birth of a new one. This is what it means to be “reborn in Christ.”
2. Entering the Christian Faith
Baptism also marks the occasion on which individuals officially become Christians. After baptism, each believer becomes part of their church and of the Christian faith as a whole, which is also sometimes called the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:4-6 makes this especially clear: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
This is significant because it means that baptized individuals aren’t alone in renouncing sin and living a godly life. They have an entire community to support them and offer them guidance as they deepen their faith and share God’s love with others. In turn, baptized Christians are called on to support members of their church and do good work in society as well.
3. Public Confession of Faith
If you’ve ever tried to give up a bad habit (or start a positive new one), you know that you’re more likely to succeed if you tell someone about it who will hold you accountable. Better yet, you’re more likely to reach your goal if you work at it with someone else who’s trying to accomplish the same or a similar goal. Becoming a Christian through baptism is a bit like sharing your commitment to a better way of life. Because it’s witnessed by family, friends, loved ones, and church members, we can think of baptism as a public confession of faith.
In this regard, baptism is also not unlike a wedding or an ordination (a ceremony in which someone officially becomes a pastor or priest): it allows you to declare your intentions not only to yourself and to God, but to your church and society as a whole. By getting baptized, you are publicly announcing your commitment to living a more holy life and to participating in the life of your spiritual community.
If you don’t like being the center of attention, or the public aspect of baptism feels intimidating to you, don’t worry! Everyone who attends your baptism is there to support you and your journey of faith. In addition, there’s no rule that says you have to be the only one getting baptized on a given day. In fact, getting baptized as part of a group can make you feel all the more connected to your new community, since you’ll share this special experience with other newcomers to the faith.
Participate in a Communal Baptism With Word of Life Church
Word of Life Church is dedicated to making the world a better place by spreading the Word and Love of God. Our mission is to create an authentic, welcoming worship community, and to empower people to live a life of faith and service in the name of Jesus. If you’re ready to become a Christian or support someone who is, join us for our city-wide baptism service on Sunday, July 30th, at 12:00 p.m.
Our offerings include a variety of worship experiences, Life Groups, youth programs, and service initiatives for individuals of all ages, all of them designed to offer community and opportunities to engage with God. Attend a sermon or contact us today to learn more about how we can serve you, or consider donating to support our work.