In ancient times, slaves were often baptized after being sold as an announcement to the community that they now had a new master. The early Christians adopted the practice after Jesus commanded it to be done (Matthew 28:18-20) to symbolize their new life in Him and to identify with His death, burial, and resurrection. Like a wedding ceremony, it is an outward demonstration of our inward love and symbolizes our death to the old life (going under water) and resurrection to a new one (rising up out of it). (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4).
Who should be baptized?
According to Scripture, every person who has believed in Jesus Christ should be baptized after accepting Him (Acts 2: 41; Acts 8: 12-13; Acts 9:18).
Why be baptized?
It is an opportunity to obey the Lord Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:18-20), to imitate His example (Luke 3:21), and to “witness” to others that you are now a Christian (Acts 2:41).
When should we be baptized?
As shown in the New Testament, new believers were baptized as soon as possible after believing in Christ (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36-39; Acts 9:18).
How should we be baptized?
The mode was always by immersion (the Greek word “baptizo” is consistently translated “to dip or immerse”), which demonstrates our death and burial by going under the water. Rising up out of water is a vivid picture of our new life in Christ. The practice of sprinkling was a tradition that developed later on, as was infant baptism, and is not supported anywhere in the Bible (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39; Matthew 15:1-6).
Is baptism required for salvation?
No. We are saved by grace alone, through faith, and salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned by any good works. Baptism is symbolic and simply an act of obedience to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
Wasn’t my baptism as a baby enough?
Any “baptism rite” prior to your decision to receive Christ for salvation wouldn’t be true baptism since you could not reason a choice as an infant. True baptism always took place after salvation.