What Is Baptism?
Christian baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus, declaring the believer’s faith in and identification with their crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It is a visible declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The believer being baptized is immersed beneath the waters in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which expresses the believers’ death to sin and the burial of their old life, and then emerges out of the water, which expresses the believers’ resurrection to a new kingdom life in Christ Jesus. Furthermore, baptism identifies a Christian with Jesus, the universal church, and the local church.
Jesus commanded that all Christians be baptized. The apostles commanded that all Christians be baptized, which explains why the book of Acts and records of the early church show that baptism was practiced consistently. We understand baptism to be the sign and seal of membership in the covenant community. Baptism is for all persons as they join the community of the church.