Baptism is when Christians are submerged in water and raised out of it after they have been saved by Jesus. It symbolizes the washing away of sins, the death of the old sinful life, and the beginning of the new life in God’s Holy Spirit.
Why do Christians get baptized? Christians get baptized because the Bible tells them to. Baptism symbolizes new life in Christ. It shows they want to celebrate a new life in Christ and commit to Jesus publicly. Being baptized is also a way to be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience God’s power.
Baptism is also something that Jesus commands Christians to do in the Bible, but it is not a requirement to become a Christian or to be saved. Only faith in Jesus by God’s grace and true repentance of sins saves someone.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,Matthew 28:19 ESV
4 Reasons Why Christians Get Baptized
Christians get baptized for four reasons:
- Because the Bible tells Christians to be baptized
- Because it symbolizes their new life in Christ
- To celebrate new life in Christ
- To be filled with the Holy Spirit
Christians do not get baptized to be saved, but because they want to obey God and His word for all these reasons.
Baptism may be seen as a religious ritual for some people, but when you boil it down, it’s as a celebration of a new life in Christ. It’s not just a religious ritual.
Baptism is used to glorify God and bring Him honor.
1. Christians Get Baptized Because The Bible Tells Them To
Christians get baptized because the Bible tells them to. It’s that simple.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.Mark 16:16 ESV
We won’t be condemned if we aren’t baptized because it isn’t required for salvation. Belief is required.
Even Jesus tells us here in Mark that it is so important, and Peter reiterates this since baptism is an act of appealing to God to receive a good conscience.
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,1 Peter 3:21 ESV
When we are baptized, it is meant to wash away all of our sin, guilt, and shame. It reveals to us how we are now in right standing with God and how we have a good conscience before Him.
2. Christians Get Baptized Because It Symbolizes Their New Life In Christ
Being a Christian can be hard sometimes. We’re called to die to ourselves and even give up our lives for Christ, but that is nothing compared to the glory we experience in God’s presence.
That’s why Christians get baptized, because they know that they get to walk in the newness of life and use baptism as a way to wash away their old, sinful selves.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.Romans 6:3-4 ESV
3. Christians Get Baptized To Celebrate Their Life In Jesus
Christians get baptized to celebrate God’s grace, salvation, and new life in their lives. How could you not celebrate if someone had just saved you from an old life of sin and death and transferred you into a kingdom of light?
This is how the Ethiopian eunuch felt in Acts chapter 8 after Philip told him about the gospel and who Jesus was.
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?‘ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more and went on his way rejoicing.Acts 8:36-39 ESV
First of all, how cool is it that the Holy Spirit teleported Philip? But that’s another conversation for another day because now we’re talking about how amazing Jesus’ saving power is that it would move us to celebrate him through baptism.
Baptism is a way for Christians to rejoice in the testimony God has given them and when done publicly, it can even encourage other believers too.
4. Christians Get Baptized To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit
While baptism is amazing, it’s important to know that you don’t have to get baptized to experience the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes on believers as soon as they repent and believe in Jesus.
Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?Acts 10:47 ESV
Baptism is a way to dedicate yourself and your whole life to the Holy Spirit.
Once Christians receive the Holy Spirit, he’s there to stay and dwell in their spirits. Christians can continue to grow in the Spirit throughout their lives and experience a new filling of Him through baptism.
And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’Acts 2:38 ESV
Again, you don’t have to be baptized to experience the Holy Spirit, but when you walk in obedience to Jesus’ command to be baptized, God is overjoyed to fill you with the good gift of His Holy Spirit.
As an example, both a friend of mine and myself were baptized when we were pretty young. Even though we didn’t understand much about the Holy Spirit, we both remember a supernatural peace, joy, and love flow over us as we were being baptized.
We were suddenly made aware that our hearts were cleansed before God. It’s a feeling that you can’t conjure up on your own, it’s super important to ask God to fill you with more and more of his Spirit even after you are baptized.
Jesus Was Baptized
Before you wonder why the Bible tells us to get baptized, remember how Jesus was also baptized when he lived as a human here on earth.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;Matthew 3:16 ESV
Now while none of us will probably experience a baptism exactly like Jesus’ – he was the Son of God after all – we can experience his righteousness when we are saved and more of a fullness of his spirit when we are baptized.
Get Baptized Soon
And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.Acts 22:16 ESV
If you’re a Christian and haven’t been baptized yet, why wait?
I’ve heard of people who don’t want to be baptized because they don’t want to make a big deal about themselves, but even our own baptisms aren’t about ourselves. They’re about Jesus’ work on the cross, and Christians are called to make a big deal about that victory.
Baptism is an amazing celebration of all that Jesus has done for you, and it symbolizes new life in Him.