What’s the big deal with being baptized by immersion? Can’t I just skip that part? Do I really have to go under the water in front of a bunch of people?
The answer is that you get the privilege of being baptized. In Jesus’ last words before ascending into Heaven he commanded that his followers be baptized. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, 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.
When we follow his instructions and submit ourselves for baptism we follow the example of Jesus himself. Jesus humbly submitted himself to be baptized by John the Baptist and afterward the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove, and God spoke from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him.” (Matt. 3:17). As Christians we should have a desire to follow the example of Jesus more than anything.
In Baptism we personally identify with, and express our belief and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection. As we go under the water we identify with his death. As we come out of the water we identify ourselves with his resurrection from the dead. Through the Holy Spirit, the resurrection power that worked in Jesus now can work in us, giving us a new heart, and a new life. Old things are gone. All things have become new.
Romans 6:4-7 says, “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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”
Baptism is also a public declaration of our devotion to Jesus and to his church. We want our church, our family, and our friends to know of our commitment. Like a husband and wife wear wedding rings to publicly express their love, baptism is an outward sign of our devotion to Christ for all to see. Jesus said in Matthew 10:32, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”
If you have not yet been baptized by immersion, I want to encourage you to do so. You can call the office at 864-439-8741 and speak with one of our pastors, and/or come forward during one of our worship services at church.
You can then invite others to this special occasion! After all, this is a celebration! Your family and friends would love to be a part of this day with you.