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Baptism is a covenant — or a promise — you make with God. When you are baptized, you promise to serve Him and follow His commandments to the best of your abilities. Simply put, baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so "we too might walk in newness of life."

In the New Testament story, Jesus visits John the Baptist to be baptized.
Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." - Matthew 3:13-17 NASB1995
Even Jesus, who never sinned, was baptized to fulfill prophecy, show obedience to God, and be the example for us to follow.

Baptism is part of a lifelong salvation process. If we believe and want to respond to the truth of the gospel through a repenting of our entire sinful life and walk in obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord, this is the reason to be baptized. It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from eternal death and Satan, and seals eternal salvation to all who believe, as the words and promises of our Lord declares. The spiritual significance of baptism, as preached by John the Baptist, and as practiced by Jesus Christ, goes beyond sprinkling or submergence in water, to practical repentance, forsaking sin, watching every thought to make sure it is good, learning to pray without ceasing and walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

Through baptism, God offers and gives to us all the blessings which Jesus claimed upon the cross and makes them our own.

Baptism Is:
1.Public Confession and Commitment to Christ as Our Lord
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. - Acts 2:41 NASB1995

2. Christ's Exemplary Baptized
Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? - Luke 20:4 NASB1995

I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." - Mark 1:8 NASB1995

3. The Symbolism of Christ's Death and Resurrection
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. - Acts 2:37-38 NASB1995

"As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. - Matthew 3:11 NASB1995

4. To Celebrate the Forgiveness of Sin
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. - Mark 1:4 NASB1995

5. As Christ Commands It
But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! - Luke 12:50 NASB1995

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:19-20 NASB1995

6. To Declare Our Faith
having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. - Colossians 2:12 NASB1995

7. To Denote Our Position Within The Body of Christ
But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. - Mark 10:38-39

8. To Humble Us
Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' - Acts 22:16 NASB1995

9. Our Relationship with The Holy Trinity
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. - Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB1995

10. His Victory Over Satan
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:4 NASB1995

After baptism, we promise to share the Good News of our faith in Jesus Christ by the things we say and do. We promise we will live to imitate Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB1995), to be an "ambassador for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20 NASB1995) to everyone we know, helping everyone know and believe the saving Gospel.

Baptism declares we are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of our faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for Christian life. Whenever it happens, whether as a baby, child or adult, baptism is at the heart of an amazing journey of faith as a follower of Jesus Christ. We are never too old to take this step, and being baptized as an adult is a wonderful experience. We never forget the day we were baptized.

Minister Sean Patrick
Be Free in God

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