Jesus commanded this for all who become disciples, followers of Christ: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
Baptism is for believers (Acts 18:8, et al). There is no instance in the Bible of anyone being baptized too young to have made a commitment to Jesus. Being baptized after coming to know Him fulfills the reason for baptism—a public testimony and identification with Christ by the baptismal candidate, in obedience to Christ.
A profession of faith must be made to demonstrate that true belief accompanies the act (Acts 22:16; compare with Romans 10:9).
Water baptism is symbolic of:
- Identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus;
- Death to self and resurrection life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:3-11; Colossians 2:12).
- Washing away of sins (Acts 22:16).
- Lives immersed in Jesus (John 15:7; Galatians 3:27).
Water baptism is by immersion. The Greek baptizo always means to dip or immerse. Immersion also best portrays death and resurrection. The element, water, portrays spiritual washing.
When should you be baptized? At your first opportunity after salvation (Acts 8:35-38; 10:44-48; 16:33).
(Adapted from Ken Horn’s article published in Today’s Pentecostal Evangel 2.26.06)
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