What I think Baptism is and why it is important.
- It is an act of obedience to God.
- It is a pledge of clear conscience to toward God. Pledges only can be honor by the person who is giving the pledge and they understand what they are doing. In other words, pledges can not be given by babies or small children who do not understand what it means to give their hearts to God.
- It symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It symbolizes the death of our past sins (repentance) and a new life into Jesus/God’s teaching with the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 3:11-12) (Acts 2:38) (John 14:15-18)
- It is an outward statement to the public of your willfulness to be a follower of Jesus/God that you believe Him to be the Son of God.
- It is ritual acceptance of the Church into Christianhood (fellowship). It is like saying I’m one of you.
- Baptism saves you not because of being dipped, immerse, plunge, sink, submerge or overwhelm by water that’s just getting wet. There is no power in the physical water. Baptism saves you because God says it does when you commit yourself to Him, believe in Jesus, repent, and obey. The power is in the spiritual water of God which is symbolized by the physical water of Baptism. Yes, that means you need to get wet from head to toe.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
(d) 1 Peter 3:19 Or but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also
(e) 1 Peter 3:21 Or but an appeal to God for a clear conscience
Lesson 14: Must We Be Baptized For The Forgiveness Of Our Sins?
How is Baptism Defined by Greek Dictionaries? By Richard Hollerman
“We must remember that “baptize” is an untranslated word. The Greek term baptizo was simply brought into the English, without translation. The final “o” (omega) was dropped and the English “e” was added to give us the English verb “baptize.” In the case of the Greek baptisma, the final “a” (alpha) was dropped to give us the English noun “baptism.” Therefore, instead of trying to discover the meaning of the English terms—”baptize” and “baptism”—we need to discover the meaning of the Greek terms baptizo and baptisma (and the related baptismos).
- Baptizo: “To make a thing dipped or dyed. To immerse for a religious purpose” (A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, E.W. Bullinger).
- Baptizo: “Dip, immerse, mid. Dip oneself, wash (in non-Christian lit. also ‘plunge, sink, drench, overwhelm. . . .’)” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Arndt and Gingrich, p. 131).
- Baptizo: “immersion, submersion” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Grimm-Thayer, p. 94).
- Baptizo: “to dip, immerse, sink” (Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, Abbott-Smith, p. 74).
- Baptizo: “dip, plunge” (A Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell & Scott, p. 305).
- Baptizo: “consisting of the process of immersion, submersion and emergence (from bapto, to dip)” (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine).
- Baptizo: “immerse, submerge. The peculiar N.T. and Christian use of the word to denote immersion, submersion for a religious purpose” (Biblico-Theological Lexicon of the New Testament Greek, Cremer).
- Baptizo: “to dip, immerse; to cleanse or purify by washing” (The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, Perschbacher, p. 66).
- Baptizo: “to dip, to immerse, to sink. . . . There is no evidence that Luke or Paul and the other writers of the New Testament put upon this verb meanings not recognized by the Greeks” (Greek and English Lexicon, Sophocles).
- Baptizo: “Bapto is the basic verb. It means ‘to dip in’ or ‘to dip under.’ It is often used of dipping fabric in a dye. Baptizo is an intensive form of bapto. From early times it was used in the sense of immersing” (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, Lawrence O. Richards, pp. 100-101).
- Baptizo: “Baptizo, immerse” (Word Study Greek-English New Testament, Paul. R. McReynolds, p. 907).
- Baptizo: “The meaning of bapto and baptizo. bapto, ‘to dip in or under,’ ‘to dye,’ ‘to immerse,’ ‘to sink,’ ‘to drown,’ ‘to bathe,’ wash.’” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, One Volume, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, p. 92).
- Baptizo: “Baptizo 77x pr. to dip, immerse; to cleanse or purify by washing; to administer the rite of baptism, to baptize” (Greek and English Interlinear New Testament, William D. Mounce and Robert H. Mounce, p. 1028).
This is sufficient for us to see that there is little controversy as to the meaning of the term baptizo as found in the Koine (common) Greek language of the first century. The standard Greek lexicons reveal that the term means to dip, to immerse, to plunge, to sink, to submerge, to overwhelm, and other synonyms. In some of the references, the result of the immersion is given—to purify through washing., and other synonyms. In some of the references, the result of the immersion is given—to purify through washing.”
If you are wondering why I including part of this article it is because the New Testament was originally written in Greek.