Baptism is a familiar act, but it is not always understood. The following points summarize the meaning of baptism.
Our Cleansing In Christ: Baptism represents our being cleansed (forgiven and set free) from sin: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth (forgiveness of sin) and renewal (freedom from sin) by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5) We are baptized (filled) with the Spirit who removes our guilt and overcomes the power of sin. Our baptism reminds us of this ongoing process!
Our Connection With Christ: The sign of baptism joins us to Jesus so that His death and resurrection and their benefits become ours. “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead … we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4) Jesus is now in us, helping us have His victory. Our baptism reminds us that we belong to Him!!
God’s Commitment to us: God loves us, though we are sinful. In love He makes a covenant (a binding agreement) with us, promising to love and keep us forever. Baptism is a visible guarantee (like a wedding ring) that He will keep His promise.“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
Our Commitment to God: In any contract, someone needs to accept the terms and respond with their commitment. In baptism, we pledge our love to the One Who first loved us. We repent of sin, we declare our confidence in Jesus, and we commit ourselves to loving and serving Him.“This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also– not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 3:21)