The bible is clear. Baptism is a very important part of our relationship with God, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is a vital part of our salvation and a necessary ordinance if we want to enter the Kingdom of God. (Mark 16:16; John 3:5)
True meaning of Baptism:
A Sign of the New Covenant: A covenant is a pledge, treaty, or agreement given between two individuals or entities. In the old testament God made covenants with His people, each covenant had a sign. In Genesis chapters 6-9 we read about the flood the Lord sent to destroy the wickedness on the Earth. After the flood, the Lord made a covenant that He would never again do this, the sign of that covenant was the rainbow. The Lord also made a covenant with Abraham that through his descendants all mankind would be saved (Genesis 17:1-13). The sign for this covenant was circumcision. With Moses and the people of Israel the covenant that if they kept His commandments, they would be His people (Exodus 19:5-8). The standards were written on stone tablets and the sign was the Sabbath (Exodus 31:13-17). With David, in Psalms 89, God made a covenant that David’s descendant would be on the throne for all generations, that sign was the resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is the sign of the New Covenant, which is revealed in Hebrews chapters 8 and 10.
A Sign of Our Repentance: Baptism is a symbolic picture of our old fleshly man/woman dying to our old way of life just as Jesus died on the cross. Being buried with Him in the water represents the cutting away of our old fleshly ways or a type of circumcision as seen in God’s covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:1-13). Now, however, in the new covenant, both male and female have this “circumcision” of the heart (Colossians 2:11-12; Galatians 3:26-29). Our coming up out of the water represents our being raised or resurrected as new creatures in Jesus, just as Jesus rose up out of the grave in His resurrection to new life (2 Corinthians 5:16-21). It actually serves as a sign of our entering into the “New Covenant”. (Genesis 17:11; Hebrews 8:8, 10) Colossians chapter 2 explains that baptism results in putting off the body of sin by the circumcision of Christ. The word repent means: To change one’s mind and turn away. It tells others that we belong to Jesus now and forever. We no longer want to live a life of sin, and it no longer has any mastery over us. We are new creatures in Christ. (Romans 6:1-14, 22-23)
Jesus Himself sets the pattern for us to be baptized. (Matthew 3:13-15) What are the two things that Peter instructed us to do, and what should we expect to receive from God when we obey? (Acts 2:33-39)
Essentially, receiving the Holy Spirit comes in connection with water baptism, however, there are other examples and circumstances mentioned in the Bible. Name three other examples from the following scriptures and by what means it took place.
As we learned from our previous study, we were all born sinners and none of us have the power in our flesh to overcome the sin in our lives and live the victorious life that Jesus died to give us.
After receiving the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to understand the Bible, the power to overcome sin, and to share the gospel with others, all because of the Helper that God has sent to live in our hearts, the Holy Spirit. How does he help us?
(1 John 2:27)
Requirements to be Baptized:
Some religious leaders have instituted a list of several doctrinal questions that a baptismal candidate needs to answer successfully before he or she should be permitted to be baptized. This practice is not scriptural.
READ the following passages of Scripture. (Acts 8:26-38; 22:16)
What is the only Biblical requirement for being baptized?
How long should we wait?
Have you repented of your sins?
When would you like to be baptized?
If you haven’t been baptized, ask your trainer or find someone who can help you to make the arrangements, then go back to Lesson 1 and complete your Spiritual Birth Certificate.