Understanding Water Baptism - The word baptism derives from a verb meaning to immerse or to identify with. Spiritual baptism, or the new birth happens when the new believer is united with Christ and His body (the Church) at the moment of salvation.
Following one's new birth experience; water baptism should be practiced by every Christian as soon as opportunity is provided right after conversion. There are very important reasons why every Christian should be baptized.
Water baptism is the act of immersing the new believer in water as a public testimony before the Church that he or she has experienced the reality of conversion/transformation. The act of water baptism is NOT to be equated as/or for salvation. Paul reminds the believers at Rome that water baptism illustrates both symbolic and spiritual significance (Romans 6:3,5):
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Water Baptism - What It Represents?
To be immersed completely under water is a picture of death. Proclaiming Jesus Christ literally died for our sins. Also, to be immersed completely is a picture of burial. Proclaiming Jesus Christ was buried. To be raised from the water proclaims Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead. Water baptism is one's public testimony that they are not ashamed of Jesus Christand desire to follow the Lord in discipleship.
Water baptism is a wonderful and powerful testimony of one's dedication and determination to publicly identify with the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Him. This means growing under the the compelling influence of the Holy Spirit of God. This can only be realized as we hide the Word of God in our hearts.
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger