A brief introduction to baptism

  • This is based on a short youth talk, and is about Baptist-style baptism, i.e. of a professing Christian by full immersion.

    Baptism is a symbol of change and that you want to live differently; the death of the old life, and the resurrection into new life.

    Why do Christians practise baptism?

    1)      To follow Jesus’ example

    Matthew chapter 3, verses 13-17 – Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist

    “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.  But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?’

    Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then John consented.

    As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

    2)      To state our faith and obedience to Jesus publicly – to say we are Christians

    Acts chapter 2, verses 38-41 – Peter is talking to a great crowd that had gathered…

    “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, 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.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’

    With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

    3)      Because when we are baptised it’s a visible sign that we share in Jesus’ life and death and resurrection. We are marked by it.

    Romans chapter 6, verses 2-10

    “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin –  because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

    Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”


    So, baptism is a symbol of:

    • Our public commitment to follow Jesus’ example and to be a Christian.
    • Our private assurance that through repenting of the things we’ve done wrong we will be saved.

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