What is the importance?
After you believe on Jesus Christ to be saved, the next step is to get baptized.
Baptism is not a requirement to go to Heaven, but it is necessary to be an obedient Christian.
Baptism is the first act of obedience for the new believer of Jesus Christ.
Baptism does not wash away our sin. Baptism does not provide one with the Holy Spirit. Baptism is simply an act of identification. We are identifying as followers and believers of Jesus Christ.
What it does not do
It does not wash away our sin. It does not provide the Holy Spirit. It is not a requirement to go to Heaven.
*Consider the thief that died on the cross next to Jesus Christ. In his conversation with Jesus, there was admission of sin, that Christ was Lord, and an request for salvation–Christ responded with a guarantee that the man would be with Christ in Paradise.
Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Consider this fact- If baptism is a requirement for entrance into Heaven, then when did this man get baptized? How could he get baptized? -He was nailed to a cross and would soon die! BAPTISM IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION – BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST DOES NOT REQUIRE IF TO BE SAVED.
What it does do
Provides a way for a new believer to simply identify as a believer of Jesus Christ.
Why get baptized?
Jesus Christ told His followers that AFTER one makes the decision to believe on Jesus for salvation – they are to get baptized. This is the first act of obedience in following the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the very minimum, to be considered an obedient follower of Jesus Christ – you must be a believer – and then you must have been baptized. Of course, there are other things that He will ask for His followers to do and we should obey – but, baptism is the first act of obedience after we trust Christ.
I’ve been sprinkled…or, I was baptized as an infant. Does that count?
Christ gave a clear example of what Biblical baptism looked like. He went down into the water and was immersed under the water. We must also understand that we are identifying as believers of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was placed on cross, was buried in the tomb, which was in the earth, and then rose again. Water Immersion Baptism is an exact picture of this- We stand up in the water (Christ on the cross), then we are placed under the water (Christ in the tomb), then we are brought up from under the water (Christ rose from the dead).
Regarding infant baptism. Baptism is an outward physical symbol for a conscious inward decision of the heart. We are showing the world that we identify with Christ and that we have made the heart decision to believe on Him as our only way of salvation. My question is this, “How can an infant make that decision?”
Biblically, this outward identification of getting baptized was always AFTER someone decided to believe ON Jesus Christ as their only way of forgiveness for their sin.
Baptism…What is the importance? For a believer of Jesus Christ, if we really love Christ, then we will obey His commandments. Christ has commanded us to identify as believers by being baptized after we make the decision to trust Christ alone for salvation.