God loves all of us and He desires us to be a part of His loving family. The concept of Christian Baptism is often brought up concerning the salvation of God’s saints. Is baptism necessary for salvation? How is it done? When should one be baptized?
Paul tells us to be a part of God’s family that we must have God’s spirit in us (Romans 8:9). But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
How do we have God’s spirit put into us? Jesus tells us in Mark 1:15 to “repent and believe the gospel.” These two conditions are what is expected of the budding young Christian, “repent” and “believe”. Also Mark 16:15-16 Jesus tells us to “believe and be baptized.”
Jesus gave us His example concerning baptism in Matthew 3:13-17. He was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist as an example for us. Vs.16 states “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water”. He was fully immersed in the Jordan River. The Greek word for “baptism” is “baptizo” meaning to “immerse or put into”. All Biblical examples of baptism are of full immersion into the water. Sprinkling and pouring water onto a person was never practiced. Some other New Testament examples of water baptism can be found in Acts 8:5-16, and vs 37-38 where Philip and the Eunuch both went down into the water. Acts 10:46-48 Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion.
When should one be baptized? The baptismal candidate should be old enough to be able to follow Christ’s example to “believe” and “repent”. One cannot believe and repent as an infant. Generally the ability to believe and repent for a young person starts around the middle teen years and often later in life. There is a certain maturity and ability to truly follow God that comes with time and wisdom (See Acts 2:38 and 8:36-38). It is significant what Philip said to the Ethiopian Eunuch, “If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Philip then baptized him. The Ethiopian Eunuch repented and believed Jesus was the Christ. This is what we must do to be baptized. This is the only way to receive God’s Holy Spirit as stated by Paul in Rom. 8:9.
We have seen baptism is a step towards salvation in God’s family. It is “full immersion” and comes after repentance and belief in Jesus as the Son of God. A certain maturity is required to repent and believe so infant baptism is not valid.
What should you do? If you believe Jesus is the Son of God and have repented of your sins and want to live a Christian life, seek council with your pastor and discus Christian Baptism. Rom. 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Become a son or daughter of God, seek council, repent, believe and be baptized for the remission of your sins so you can live a life as a part of God’s family. What greater blessing could there be?