What is Baptism?
What is Baptism – Baptism is a Christian sacrament that involves the immersion of a person in water. It is a symbol of the believer’s death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ. Baptism is also a sign of the believer’s union with Christ and the Christian community.
Baptism as a Celebration of New Life and New Beginnings
Baptism is a celebration of new life and new beginnings in a number of ways. First, it is a celebration of the believer’s new life in Christ. When a person is baptized, they are symbolically dying to their old sinful life and being raised to new life in Christ. This new life is characterized by forgiveness of sins, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the hope of eternal life.
Second, baptism is a celebration of the believer’s new beginning as a member of the Christian community. When a person is baptized, they are becoming a part of the body of Christ, which is the church. This new community provides believers with support, encouragement, and accountability as they grow in their faith.
The Meaning of Baptism in the Bible
Baptism is mentioned throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, baptism was used as a way to cleanse people from their sins. For example, the Israelites were commanded to be baptized after crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land (Joshua 4:1-9).
In the New Testament, baptism is commanded by Jesus Christ himself. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Celebrating Baptism in the Church
Baptism is a joyous occasion that is celebrated by the entire church community. The baptism ceremony typically includes a sermon or homily on the meaning of baptism, the singing of hymns, and the prayer of blessing over the person being baptized.
In some denominations, baptism is performed by immersion, meaning that the person being baptized is completely submerged in water. In other denominations, baptism is performed by sprinkling or pouring water over the person’s head.
Regardless of the specific method used, baptism is a powerful and symbolic act that marks a new beginning in the life of the believer.
Baptism is a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate new life and new beginnings in Christ. It is a public declaration of faith, a sign of union with Christ and the Christian community, and a celebration of the believer’s new identity as a child of God.