What is Water Baptism?

Read Romans 6:1-11

The Greek word for baptism is "batismo" meaning immersion.
  • Acting out physically what takes place spiritually

1) Just as Jesus died and was buried, and on the 3rd day arose from the dead; in baptism a person is immersed in water (significant of his burial) and as he rises out of water (significant of his resurrection)

2) When a person becomes a Christian...they repent and turn their back on sin and follow Christ

3) Following Jesus’ example...He was baptized; an Ethiopian eunuch was baptized. Jesus’ commandment “go and make disciples of all men.”

Water Baptism declares who we are

We have been saved by faith
Before Paul gets to Romans 6, he makes this statement in Romans 5:1: “Therefore,  since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Faith is what saves us. You can get baptized in water until you drown. You will never get saved. However, baptism is an open expression of your inward faith. I believe baptism should be reserved when a person has made a commitment of their life to Jesus Christ. That is why in our church we do not baptize babies. We baptize only people who have given their hearts to the Lord. That may be a little child, who at five years old has an awareness of his own sin and has a need for Jesus. He gives his heart to Jesus.

Thereby, when one gets baptized, they are saying that they are saved by faith. It is not baptism that saves them. Baptism is an open declaration of what God has done. Inwardly I am a man of faith. When I got married, the ring on my finger was an outward sign of something that happened inside me (I fell in love). The marriage ceremony was an open declaration of something that had happened in me, a commitment of my life to my spouse.

We are free
Baptism declares that we are free. Romans 6:6,7 says, “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.” Anyone who has died has been freed from sin. When you get baptized in water, you are saying that not only you are saved by faith, you are free!

We are truly alive
Another thing we are saying when we are baptized in water is that we are truly alive! Before we gave our hearts to Christ we were walking dead men. Once we came to Christ, we truly came alive. Romans 6:4 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.” (NIV) Verse 8 says, "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him." Not only do we have life in relationship to God, but we have eternal life. We have life more abundantly.

We can live holy
When we are baptized in water, we can live holy. I know that’s hard to imagine. Paul has made this very clear there in verses 12-14 when he says. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” When you are baptized in water, you are declaring that you are dead. Your past is gone, and the sin that once bound you is broken. You are free because you have the power of God flowing in your life; you can live free of sin. Paul goes on to say, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master.”

What God is saying to us about Baptisms

We are new creations
Why is understanding baptism so important as to be an essential? What is God saying to us about baptism? First, through baptism He is telling us we are new creations. Don’t let the devil make you think any different. Some of you battle with thoughts of what you used to do before you became a Christian. The enemy will come to you and tell you that you are not any different. Begin to declare that "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation." That old man died when you went under the water. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. That is what God wants us to declare through the rite of baptism.

1) We are not secret believers for our baptism is a public declaration that we will live for Christ.
2) Secondly, He wants us to say that we are not secret believers, for our baptism is a public declaration that we will live for Christ. That was why baptism was public. It was before others. It is because the very nature of the Gospel is that we are to be witnesses. Never let your baptism degenerate into a ritual but make it a commitment to live holy.
3) Thirdly, never let your baptism degenerate into simply a ritual. Make it a commitment to live holy. It is easy to see Christianity as little rituals. That is not the way it should be. Baptism says I need God. I need God’s intervention.
4) The fourth thing is so important. When you are baptized, baptism says, “I need others, I need God’s church.” You cannot baptize yourself. You don’t just jump into the pool and say, “I’m baptized.” Baptism is always something done to you by someone else because it is saying that you need the body of Christ. There are no lone rangers. One of the things I get very disturbed about is when Christians think that they are going to make it spiritually on their own. God never designed it that way. In spite of all the advanced technology we need the church, the community of faith. Baptism declares that.


If you have not been baptized in water, you need to be baptized in water. It’s important. When you are baptized in water you realize what it means to live your Christian life. It’s not about me, it is all about Jesus. It is not whether I look good; it’s whether Jesus looks good. It’s not whether I get accolades; it’s whether Jesus gets praised. It’s not what people think about me, it's what they think about Jesus. When I think about baptism, that is what I am thinking about. God is looking for people that are committed to making Him glorious in the world and to let Him be seen through their lives because they are not dead, but alive through the power of God working in their lives.

Practical reminders before being baptized

  •  Cross your arms in front of your chest or hold your nose--giving a place for the pastor baptizing a place to hold.