The importance of the mode of baptism
It is really important how we baptize. The New Testament word for baptism means to plunge, dip or immerse. Every specific example of baptism was by immersion: John baptized where there was plenty of water (John 3:23) and baptized people in the Jordan river (Mark 1:5). When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit descended upon him as he was “coming up out of the water” (Mark 1:10). The Ethiopian wanted to be baptized only after seeing a body of water.
Immersion is important in baptism because it symbolises what takes place in the believer.
In Romans 6 it says: 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
Baptism, the act of immersion, symbolizes the washing away of sins, but more importantly it represents being united with Christ in his death and burial (going down under the water) and resurrection (coming up and out); both Jesus’ life in us, our new life, the regenerated life (Gal. 3:27), and the future resurrection of eternal life to come. The resurrection is very important to be symbolised in the act of baptism (1 Peter 3:20-21).
So how we baptize is really important. Only by immersion do we enact our being united with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection.
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