Water baptism accompanied the proclamation of the gospel from the beginning of the church mission in Acts 2:38-41. It was and is the rite of Christian initiation which indicates that a person is committing him or herself to Jesus Christ entirely; by being baptized in the water; believers visually demonstrate their faith as a public declaration of an inward change
So understand that the inward change is the focus here, to be baptized in Spirit since we can dip you a ton load in the water but if your life does not equate to the bible; then all is meaningless. So maybe you are asking, if all I need is an inward change, why do I need to be baptized in water? The answer could be found in John 3 when Jesus called for a baptism of water and spirit. Expounding it further, we have 5 points to which we need to discuss in order to understand the importance of water baptism, what it entails & why it is imperative.
I. Our first point is highlight in Galatians 3:27 which states – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” – Baptism signifies that we who partake now stand in confession as slaves unto Christ who by election share in His life, Spirit and inheritance. This means that we who stand baptized are called to put on Christ and shine Christ in our walk.
II. Our second point is; water baptism is a response to what Christ has done for us who believe. To validate this response, it must be preceded by repentance which is found in Acts 2:38 – “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and a personal faith in Christ as found in Colossians 2:12 which states – “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”
III. Our third point is; Water Baptism when undertaken with a sincere heart of faith and commitment as we stand elected by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; thus the eyes of our heart is fixed on Him would shine that we have received grace from Christ as found in 1 Peter 3:21 – “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”
IV. Our Fourth point is; Water Baptism is an outward sign and testimony of our receiving Christ as Lord and Savior; thus our sins are washed away due to our regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5 – “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”
V. Our Fifth point and by far one that completely resounded to me is this- Water Baptism portrays the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection which could be found in our key text as well as in Romans 6:24 –“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.” Baptism signifies an end to a life of sin and a beginning of a new life in Christ. Therefore Water Baptism doesn’t begin and end right here; but it involves a lifelong practice of turning one’s back from the world and all it’s evil and living a new life in the spirit as we walk in The spirit thus reflecting God’s righteousness.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”