Have you ever attended a local school or a professional sporting event and worn a t-shirt or jersey with a team name on it? This type of external expression is a symbol of your support and allegiance to the team. Jesus gave the Great Commission: a charge for what gospel believers are to be about, the marching orders if you will. In it, Jesus says to baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:18-20). As believers who make up our church community, we are commanded to provide opportunities for people to express their new identity as a Christ follower and to put their allegiance to Christ on display through the act of baptism. Baptism is an expression of worship. It is a physical experience that takes places when a person is submerged in water, but it is also spiritual in that baptism symbolizes the gospel transformation experienced by the person getting baptized.
But baptism is more than just a cheering section for Jesus: baptism deepens the bond we have with Jesus Christ because our identity is partnered with His redemptive story. Romans 6:3-4 says “3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.” A pastor explained the connection with baptism by saying, “when you are baptized, you are in fact visually preaching the gospel. As you stand in the water waiting to be baptized, you symbolize Jesus dying on the cross. As you are lowered into the water, you symbolize Jesus buried in the tomb. As you are raised from the water, you symbolize Jesus rising from the dead. And since you personally are being baptized, you are also saying, "I died with Jesus Christ, I was buried with him and now I am raised with Christ to brand-new life.”
Baptism is deeply personal—it expresses what God has done in your life—but it’s also communal. The end of verse 4 says that you may live “a new life”, which isn’t intended to mean alone and isolated but with a community of believers that celebrates what God has done in your life. Through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance (turning away from sin), your salvation makes you a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), living a new life in the midst of a family of believers who also rejoice in your act of baptism.
Because baptism is a symbol of what God has done in someone’s life, the age of a person being baptized may vary. However, all who desire to be baptized, children included, should be able to give a believable profession of faith.
Have you been saved through faith in Jesus Christ? Have you been baptized?
If you would like to be baptized or receive more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 313-444-0036.