Baptism is the birth-day of a new Christian, so it has been the center-piece of Christ’s people since our beginning. John led the way to Jesus by preaching a baptism of repentance; but Jesus was baptized to ‘fulfill all righteousness’. God the Father used Jesus baptism to declare at Matthew 3:13-17 His love and approval of Jesus.

At Romans 6:3-14 we find that baptism is a burial in which our ‘old self is crucified and our body of sin is disposed of’. This first part must be emphasized for it is our release from the power of sin; we ‘are no longer slaves to sin, for we have died to sin’. Death is no longer our master; now we hope to be raised to live with our Savior – Jesus the Christ.

Baptism is also to ‘put-on’ Jesus like putting on a coat for winter. We are called to ‘take-off’ relationships that cause us to sin, and put-on the life-style that identify us as called-out: belonging to Jesus. Galatians 3:26-29 We are raised with Jesus through our faith in the power of God’s Words. Colossians 2:9-12.

At I Peter 3:18-22 we learn that ‘this (water that raised the ark) symbolizes baptism that now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God’. The water and words of baptism are not magical; but we must truly confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and we trust Jesus for eternal life.