One of the first ways you can celebrate your new relationship with God is to be baptized in water because this act of faith is important to Him.
There are four key reasons to be baptized in water after you have become rightly related to God through His gift of salvation. By being baptized in water you are demonstrating that you now belong to God; your personal faith is expressed in this public service of commitment. You are showing your allegiance to God, and your desire to live your life in a way that honors your Lord, Jesus Christ. Water baptism is a celebration of relationship between you and God!
Four reasons for the celebration of water baptism:
1. Jesus’ example – He did it! Jesus wanted to obey God’s laws and be an example to us. Jesus’ relationship with His Father God was affirmed in His water baptism. God put the spotlight of His love on His Son Jesus!
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’”
2. Jesus’ command - Do it! It is an act of obedience.
Just before Jesus went back to heaven, He commanded all of His disciples to baptize those who believed in Him, who had relationship with Him. Jesus said,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…”
3. Water baptism is a public celebration!
You are publicly declaring your faith and new relationship with God! Others can rejoice with you, and their faith and personal relationship with God are encouraged.
When you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and become your Lord, you became a member of God’s family. Your relationship with Him placed you in relationship with all other Christians. You are making a public declaration of your faith in God, and they join you in celebrating this new relationship. It’s like a big party where the spotlight is on Jesus and your love for Him!
4. Water baptism is an outward sign, a demonstration of your inward commitment to live a new life in Jesus.
You are declaring your intention to leave your former lifestyle ‘behind’ in the waters of baptism.
Water baptism is an action demonstrating to others our intent that our old ways of thinking and acting are no longer a part of us. Instead, we want to live a new life where our thoughts and actions are honoring to Jesus and our new relationship with God.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The act of water baptism is a picture of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Jesus died, was buried for three days, and raised from the dead. That series of events is replicated in the actions of water baptism. When we go under the water, it is a picture of our dying to our old sinful life, declaring our intent to say ‘No’ to sins that we ‘leave behind’ in the waters of baptism. When we come up out of the water, it is a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. We are making a statement with our actions that we intend to live a new life of loving and honoring Jesus.
“Or 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.”