What is Baptism and Is It Really Necessary?

Baptism.

You might have heard of it since you were young, and now you ask, “What does baptism really mean? Do I have to be baptized to be saved? Is water baptism the same as baptism in the Holy Spirit?

What is baptism? 

Baptism came from the Greek word ‘baptizō,’ which literally means to dipimmerse, or wash – according to Bible.org. As the Word of God points out, baptism expresses union with Christ in His death and resurrection.

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4 ESV)

Baptism has meaning and importance because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. His finished work on the cross gives you the opportunity to walk in newness of life.

Do I need to be baptized?

To be baptized and be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 NLT) is God’s commandment.

Jesus also said in Matthew 28:19 ESV, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Baptism is more than just a religious tradition. It is more than just submerging in the water, but immersing in the presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The question is, is there a difference between water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Water Baptism 

Baptism – as per the example of Jesus and other believers in the Bible – involves immersion in water.

Just as how Jesus died and resurrected, water baptism symbolizes a person’s dying to his old ways of life – and beginning a new one with Him. This symbolic gesture is a public declaration of your faith in Jesus.

On the other hand, Acts 2:38 NLT says, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – highlighting the importance of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit 

Water baptism is not the only way of saying that you have received Jesus in your life.

Even though you have not undergone water baptism yet, it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus already died for your sins and saved you. Ultimately, it is by His grace that you have been saved, through your faith (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV). 

How to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit? 

While baptism in the Holy Spirit is a free gift, surrendering your life to God is the way to receive it.

First, you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, and ask Him to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for (Luke 11:9).

Second, believe that you have already received baptism from God. Galatians 3:2 NLT says that you received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. Faith in Jesus is a prerequisite to baptism. It is about believing that you have been saved and that you have received baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In Mark 1:5 ESV, baptism is tied to repentance“And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” It implies that baptism and repentance go hand-in-hand.

Experiencing baptism – by water, and more importantly, in the Holy Spirit – is a beautiful gift from God. It is a union between you and your Heavenly father, a union that must be enjoyed and lived out on a daily basis.

Do you want to accept Jesus in your life and receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Allow us pray for you as you embark on this journey of knowing Jesus. You may call the CBN Asia Prayer Center at 8737-0700 or reach us through our Facebook Page. 

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