The Importance of Baptism
Understanding the purpose of Christian baptism is a vital part of recognizing its importance and value in your life. Many people see it as being about forgiveness of sin. While that is a big part of the practice, there is more to baptism than just that. Here is what you should know about the practice of baptizing people into the Christian faith and whether you want to consider baptism for your own life.
Baptism Is an Important Christian Symbol
While your walk with God may be a personal or private one, baptism is an outward symbol of the commitment you’re making to live a new life with Christ. It is a symbolic gesture to show that you’re giving up old, sinful ways for new ways that follow the Lord’s teachings and honor Him through your actions.
Some denominations baptize babies, while others wait for adulthood, so the person who’s being baptized can meditate on God’s Word and decide for themselves if they want to make their own commitment to the Lord. Being submerged in water is the traditional way to baptize those who come to Christ and want to enter into a relationship with Him through a renewed life.
Symbolically, Baptism is based on the rite of burial and cleansing, which signifies the ending of the old life and the beginning of the new one. When a person is baptized into Christianity, they are “made new.” They are often referred to as having died and been born again.
Of course, this doesn’t mean literal death. Instead, it means they died to sin and their old ways and they are now born into a new life with Christ. Their sins are forgiven, and they are part of the Lord’s flock. No matter what kinds of issues were in their past, baptism “clears the slate” so that a newly baptized person can release their past and focus on their future with God.
Baptized Christians Make a Covenant
When you choose to be baptized, it definitely needs to be taken seriously. It’s a covenant, like a contract you’re making with the Lord. It’s important that you understand your end of the agreement and that you commit yourself to the level of dedication and care your new life in Christ will require.
That doesn’t mean you have to become a pastor or give up all your worldly possessions. But you’ll want to take a look at the kinds of actions and activities that were in your life in the past. Do they serve you well? More importantly, do they serve God? If the answer is no, you’ll want to choose a new path that lines up with your baptism and Godly focus for the future.
Being baptized doesn’t stop any temptations or other issues you may have in your life. But it does give you a fresh start where you can work on honoring the covenant you’ve made with God through being baptized. When you’re baptized, you’re accepting a personal identification and relationship with Christ. That relationship will change you and help you bring in more people who need the love and support a relationship with God offers for them.
Baptism Was Common in Biblical Times
Baptism started in biblical times when people were brought to the Lord through cleansing themselves in water and committing to Him and His Word. Disciplines of Jesus baptized people who wanted to follow Him and who committed their lives to His teachings and His Father.
It’s important not to think of baptism as something that only happened “back then.” Baptism is just as relevant today as it ever was and just as important for Christians who want to make their covenant with God. It is a symbol of rebirth, commitment, and love for the Lord and His Holy Word.