1. Baptism is the culmination of steps that a person takes when he desires to become a Christian. After hearing the Gospel of Jesus and His kingdom, Acts 8:12, a person either believes or rejects the Good News. Believing God’s Word enables that person to see that they are a sinner and have fallen short of the righteousness of God, Romans 3:23. This knowledge leads to repentance or a change in attitude towards sin and a commitment to live for Christ, Acts 17:30. Then a public declaration of a belief in Jesus as the Son of God in made, Acts 8:36-37, followed by baptism, Acts 8;38-39. Baptism is a commandment, Acts 10:48; Mark 16:16.
2. Baptism is more than a symbol as many denominations teach. Romans 6:3-5 states that baptism is an actual burial with Christ into His death. This is a spiritual burial where people wanting to become Christians come into contact with the blood of Christ. Jn 19:34; Rev 1:5; 7:14; Col 1:14.
3. It is after submission to Christ in baptism that a newness of life is possible, Romans 6:4-14. As Jesus was raised from the dead, a person is raised from the water into a new spiritual life as a Christian.
4. Baptism is for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38. Jesus paid the penalty for man’s sins through His death on the cross. It is in baptism into His death that forgiveness is received.
5. Baptism is for salvation, Mark 16:16; 1Peter 3:21. Many denominations teach that baptism in not essential to salvation and that salvation occurs upon belief only. They say that God’s grace alone saves. It is true that we can do nothing on our own to merit salvation but doing what God tells us to do is obedience and is required on our part, 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1Peter 4:17.
6. Baptism washes away our sins, Acts 22:16 which is a figurative way of stating that our sins are forgiven. (remission of sins)
7. People are born again through the water of baptism and the Holy Spirit, John 3:3-5.
8. It is through baptism that a person enters into Christ, Galatians 3:27 and becomes a part of His body, the church. 1Corinthian 12:13; Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:41,47. It is in Christ that all spiritual blessings, especially eternal life, are found. Ephesians 1:3; 2Timothy 2:10.
It is in Christ, that we become a new creature, 2Cor 5:17.