What can I do for God?

Believers’ Water Baptism

The Lord Jesus expects every disciple to be baptized. But it doesn’t end when the physical act has taken place. The truth that baptism pictures should continually and practically affect our lives. Being baptized, and living it out each day, is an important and elementary way for every believer to do something for the Lord.

What is believers’ water baptism?

Baptism takes place when a Christian is completely immersed in water (the word means ‘to dip’ - this is illustrated by the fact that in Acts 8. 38 Philip and the Ethiopian went ‘down both of them into the water’). It is an act made in the name of the Lord, Matt. 28. 19; Acts 10. 48 and a declaration of the believer’s new life in Christ, Acts 2. 41; 9. 18; 10. 47; 16. 33.

Why should we be baptized?

  • It is the instruction of our risen Lord, Matt. 28. 19.
  • All of those who were saved in the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ were baptized.
  • Being baptized follows the example of the Lord Jesus. He was willing to be baptized to obey the Father’s will and ‘fulfil all righteousness’ even though He had no need to repent, Matt. 3. 13-17.
  • When a person takes on a new job and is willing to publically wear the relevant uniform so baptism is the open proclamation of what privately happened at salvation between a person and God.

How should baptism affect my life?

The practical impact of baptism can be seen in the three steps involved. This is taught in Romans chapter 6 verses 1-13.

Going into the water

  • This is symbolic of death. The Christian is conscious that he died to sin and their past habit of living for self.
  • The Christian is also saying he is associated with the Saviour whom the world condemned to death. He willingly takes his place with a rejected Man, accepting he can expect nothing better.

Under the water

  • Baptism is like entering a grave! To be ‘dead and buried’ means something is completely finished, with no chance of returning to life. This is how seriously we should view anything to do with sin in our lives.
  • To desire to be buried with someone is an expression of deepest love, normally reserved for closest family. Being buried with Christ in baptism is the symbolic act, which declares our unrivalled love for Him.

Coming out of the water

  • It is as if we have come back to life but in a real sense it’s not my life but I now live Christ’s life, Rom. 6. 4, Gal. 6. 20. ‘Walking in newness of life’ is living yielded to God, using our lives to do only what is righteous.
  • This also pictures our association with the Lord Jesus in His resurrection. Living for God is not easy. However, the same power that accomplished the greatest miracle of the universe (Christ’s resurrection) is available to enable us to live for Him. ‘Ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead’, Col. 2. 12.

The New Testament envisages every Christian, regardless of age, ability, or background, being baptized. There is limited value in seeking to understand what else I can do for God if I am not willing to obey this step, or live out what it pictures! The table below may be of help in the future.

  Going into the water
Under the water
Out of the water
Our relationship to our pre-salvation conduct Dead Finished with it Living a new life for God
Our relationship with Christ Willing to be rejected as He was Wanting to be buried with someone declares deep love Raised with Him, including living by that power