15. Water BAPTISM

Question and answer: ďIíve been christened, so do I need to be baptised?Ē

Christening is not a sign of your personal faith, because it was done without your consent. It is not even a biblical concept - it does you no harm, but neither does it do you any good. All Christians need to be baptised when they are born again (if it is possible) - even Jesus was baptised. It is one of the sacraments of the Protestant church.

Matthew 28:19 ĎGo and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirití

Fact: Baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith in Jesus.

Jesus commands us to be baptised, and we usually do it publicly as a testimony to our faith in Christ. It is a sign of our obedience to Jesus. When you see a soldier or a policeman, you instantly recognise them because of their uniform. Likewise, baptism is a public event to inform the world that you have nailed your colours to the mast, and that you mean business with God. Youíre dedicated to Jesus.

Wisdom: An engagement ring is purchased to be worn Ė not kept in a box. Likewise our faith should also be on display to the public.

Going into the water speaks of wanting to go deeper with God, a complete break with our past ways and sinful habits etc. Going under the water symbolises being washed by the pardoning mercy of God. The water speaks of a grave and as you go under you are spiritually buried. (Donít panic you donít stay under for long!). Coming out of the water speaks of a new resurrected and distinctive life. Jesus died, was buried and rose again, and now spiritually; you have identified with Christ Jesus.

Think: Is there anything that is stopping me from being baptised?

Get baptised as soon as possible after being born again. But make sure that you are doing it for God, and not under pressure to please someone else. Ask God to show you when the time is right.

Fact: In the time of Jesus and the early church, baptism was a common concept. Some religions baptised their people in bullís blood! Gross!

More Info: Matthew 3:1-6,13-17, John 4:1,2, Acts 2:38, 9:17-22, 10:44-48, 16:25-34, 19:1-6, Romans 6:4,5, Galatians 3:26,27, Eph. 4:5,6, 1 Peter 3:21.

Visit the interactive version of this course online. www.byfaith.co.uk © 2003 ByFaith Media.