What is Baptism?
Baptism is a symbol of a restored relationship with God through faith in Jesus.
When you have repented of your sin and self-righteousness and placed your trust (faith) in Jesus as your Savior, a next step is to go public with your new identity as a follower of Christ. Be baptized!
If you would like to learn more about what this means or are ready to move forward with a public display of your faith in Jesus, please speak with a Renew pastor to walk through the Gospel, confirm your faith in Jesus, learn the importance and symbolism found in water baptism. We can answer your questions and walk through the Scriptures on being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit (see Matthew 28:18-20).
Select Scriptures on Baptism
Read Matthew 3:1-17. Jesus’ baptism is the prototype for why we should be baptized as His followers. Notice how He did not have to repent of sin (as we must), yet the meaning of this momentous occasion is to “fulfill all righteousness.” The Father’s relation to the Son, and the Son to the Father, is on display, and this scene records the first words God has spoken in centuries. The whole creation story is being retold (see the Spirit hovering, a la Genesis 1:1-2), and the identity statement, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” brings with it the meaning of Jesus’ value and mission. There is only one Jesus! He came to bring back all the wayward sons and daughters, to the pleasure of the Father. Notice how is baptized publicly, and before He sets out on His public ministry. His achievements in saving the world come out of this identity and love from the Father.
Colossians 2:12: “You were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
Romans 6:1-11 describes new life in Christ, where we our old lives have been put to death.
Saved Through Judgment
The Bible gives us many pictures for what baptism is for a believer. One of the pictures deals with the account of Noah in the book of Genesis (1 Peter 3:20-21). In his book Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ, Tom Schreiner writes,
“Baptism pictures death because submersion under water kills. The waters represent the flood of God’s judgment on account of sin (see 1 Peter 3:20-21), and hence even Jesus himself, as Mark 10:38-39 explains, underwent a baptism in which he absorbed God’s wrath on the cross for the sake of his people. Submersion under the water in baptism-which is in Jesus’ name-indicates that the persons baptized have experienced God’s judgment in Christ. That is, since they are incorporated in Christ, he has borne the judgment they deserved…”
We can worship God because Jesus has taken the punishment that we deserved. When you’re baptized by a Renew Church leader, these words could be spoke over you: “You have passed through the judgment waters safely.” As the person comes up out of the water, the crowd bursts into applause and inevitably, a smile breaks out on this newly baptized brother or sister in Christ.
Isn’t this an amazing Gospel? We deserved the same fate that came upon the people in Noah’s day. But instead of receiving that judgment, we have passed through the water’s safely. And more than that, God has adopted us as sons and daughters to be with Him for all eternity. Truly, this is good news!
Who Should be Baptized?
If someone has made a genuine profession of faith, then he or she ought to be baptized (Matthew 28:18-19). We encourage you to follow Christ’s command to be baptized as a public profession of your faith in Him. We would love to walk with you through considering this opportunity to announce the change that has taken place in your life, and proclaim that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.
If you haven’t made a commitment to Jesus, we would still love to hear from you to answer any questions you may have and help you to learn more about what it means to be a Christian.
How Do I Take This Step?
Baptisms are scheduled periodically, including when we have Family Camp each Summer. Several weeks before, we’ll have a Baptism Class where those interested have the opportunity to meet with a pastor who will walk with you as you consider baptism. This class and discussion does not obligate you, but allows you to explore and learn the meaning of this sacred symbol. To meet with a Renew leader or have any of your questions answered, email baptism@GodRenews.us.