“GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: AND, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD.” (MATTHEW 28:19)
BAPTISM is essential for salvation
Baptism plays an essential role in the life of every Christian. It is more than just a symbol of your faith. It is a new birth that allows for a new life to begin (John 3:5). You are baptized to wash away sin. “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” (Acts 22:16) When you are immersed in water you identify with Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In this way, you become one with Christ and His suffering. Just as He was buried, you also are buried with Him in baptism (Romans 6:3-4). When you read the book of Acts you will see that baptism is required of every person in every story. This connects to the teachings of Jesus (Mark 16:15-16).
BAPTISM AS A TURNING POINT
Depression can weaken your faith and the faith of even the most steadfast Christians. You may struggle with the past, but this does not define your future. Baptism is a way to throw out the shame of your former life and strengthen your spiritual resolve. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17) As a Christian, you cannot let the past consume you. Instead, you must press on to the future and the greater goal. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Look at your baptism as a turning point. It is a rejection of your past sins as you embrace your new path, and walk in the footsteps of Christ. (I John 2:6) In his letter to the Romans, Paul asks, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized 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.” (Romans 6:3-4)
LIVING AS A CHILD OF GOD THROUGH FAITH
Listen to the word of God: “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 2:26-27) Not only does baptism start your life anew, but it is an act commanded by God in order to be born again. “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.”(Acts 10:47-48)
Committing to this act is one of the greatest declarations of faith that a follower of Christ can make. Having courage is not only about declaring your faith. It is also trusting in your faith against all odds. One of the most well-known examples of courage in the Bible comes from the Book of Samuel. For forty days, Goliath comes to challenge the Israelites to combat. Hearing of Goliath’s defiance, David accepts the challenge. With his faith in God, David declares “that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand.” Just as David trusted his faith to allow him to defeat Goliath, you must trust your faith to carry you through difficult times.
PRAYING FOR ONE ANOTHER
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24) Because baptism is essential to becoming a Christian, it provides us with significant blessings including the avenue of prayer to the Father through the Son. Trials of faith, prayer, and fellowship are aspects of the Christian life that are personally significant to individuals and yet shared experiences among all of Christ’s followers. Joining your fellow Christians for prayer and guidance is vital for navigating your own path. (James 5:16)
In Acts, King Herod arrested Peter and threw him in prison while “the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12:5). One night, an angel visited Peter and led him out of his cell and directly to Mary’s house. There the congregation gathered and continued to pray. In this example, praying for others had the power to break the shackles put on Peter and lead him back to his people.
Baptism is the beginning of Christian life, and praying is an important part of Christian life. It helps you and addresses the needs of others while also outwardly showing your faith in God. (I John 5:14) When you pray for one another, your faith is strengthened, and the bond you have with Christ grows. As the story of Peter proves, prayer is a powerful act that continues what began with baptism.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
RESOURCES FOR YOU
It has never been easier to connect with the church of Christ online. With the daily encouragement of God’s Word and the guidance of online Bible courses, you can face any adversity that life throws your way. For more information, check out Getting to Know Your Bible. Also, if you are ready to be baptized or have other questions about salvation, please reach out to us. As Paul said, “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” (Romans 8:18)