Click here to sign up to be baptized during our worship service this Sunday, January 28!
For anyone who would follow the Lord Jesus, baptism is a commandment. Like all of his other commands to disciples – they are just that commandments, not suggestions. And if we understand who he is and what he’s done then we can agree with St. John's and say from the heart “his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
The glorious sacrament of baptism speaks directly to who God is and what he has done in Christ, through the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Church! Here at Redemption Church we rejoice from the heart each time a brother or sister repents to Jesus, trusts in Jesus, and follows after Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
The New Testament teaches us much about the meaning of baptism. Here are three things we gleam from the gospel, history (Acts), and the words of St. Paul to the church at Corinth.
Jesus commanded that all who would come after him as his disciples are to follow him in being baptized. This action of being submerged in water and being raised out of the water is public declaration that one has been plunged into a living relationship with the Triune God, remembering that we are “baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). Notice here that Jesus says “name” and not “names.” Why because of the Oneness and Three-ness of our God.
"Baptism was to conversion something like what the engagement ring is to many engaged couples in modern Western society; the official, public declaration of the commitment."*
As a church family, we joyfully heed Paul's instructions to "do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Gal. 6:10).
Washing of sins
In addition to a living relationship with the Triune God, baptism also is a picture of a particular kind of cleansing; a cleansing of sin. Look at this beautiful statement from Ananias to Paul upon his conversion to Christ, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16). Notice the close connection between baptism and "calling upon his name." Australian scholar, David Peterson says,
“Outward washing with water expresses the cleansing from sin that is proclaimed in the gospel and received by faith sacramentally in baptism.”*
We are now cleansed before God through Jesus. Baptism points to this reality.
DEATH, BURIAL, AND Resurrection depicted
Nearing the end of his letter to the Corinthian church, in his lengthy treatment of the resurrection, Paul writes,
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
Baptism is a picture of Good Friday and Easter! When someone goes into the water, they’re declaring that their sins are buried with Christ. When someone comes up out of the water, they’re identifying with the resurrected Lord Jesus!
WOMB & TOMB
There is a saying from the early church that can serve to help us better understand what water baptism is and what it represents. Sofia Cavalletti, a woman who lived in Rome and worked with young children on their spiritual formation, writes in her book Living Liturgy: Elementary Reflections:
“The catechumens [Christian converts awaiting baptism] went down into the baptismal pool, which was considered both the tomb of the old person and the motherly womb of the church, which gave new birth to the new person. Going into the pool was like going down into the tomb, and coming up out of the pool was the return to a new life, the life of the risen Christ.”
So, if you walk into your church and you see the baptismal font, think to yourself, from death to life. You see, when you're baptized, you’re in a sense reaching back in time to hold the hands of the saints who have gone before us, and remembering the stark reality that our old lives with all of our sin and folly are buried in the tomb, and by the grace of God, we emerge to live new lives from the womb as the people of God.
The baptismal font is the tomb and the womb.
So if you’re a believer in Jesus and are ready to take your next step of faith and be baptized, please fill out the form and one of our pastors will follow up with you right away.
 Ryken, Wilhoit, and Longman III, gen. eds., “Baptism,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 73.
 Peterson, D. G. (2009). The Acts of the Apostles (p. 603). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
 This article is a brief summary of the chapter entitled "Baptism" in my book The New Believer's Guide to the Christian Life: What Will Change, What Won't, and Why it Matters.