What is water baptism? What does water baptism involve and what does it mean for the believer?
Water baptism is something we encourage for every born-again believer in Christ to experience. It is not a prerequisite for salvation, but it is a step of faith that the Bible talks about and encourages believers to take. When we choose to take this step of faith and be water baptised out of a personal revelation of what the finished work of Jesus has done for us, and the relationship we have with Him today, we begin to truly experience newness of life, and start on a journey of life-transformation from the inside out.
In a nutshell, water baptism is an outward declaration that we have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and are now in union with Him. It involves the spiritual and symbolic act of us going under water and rising up again. The Apostle Paul explains the significance of this: “When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus” (Rom. 6:4 MSG).
In other words, through water baptism, we are consciously identifying with our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection, and declaring that we have all the blessings of His perfect, complete work. We are declaring that we who were once dead because of our sin are now alive in Christ, completely forgiven of our sins and made righteous before God (see Col. 2:13–14, Rom. 4:25). We’re declaring that we have His new life—a life set free from the power of sin (see Rom. 6:4–7), and a life of victory in Him (see 2 Cor. 5:17 NLT).
And as we see the Lord’s great love for us in everything He did for us through His death, burial, and resurrection, water baptism is also a time of celebrating His love for us and our love for Him before witnesses.
While it is a celebration and outward declaration of what happened in us when we received Jesus as our Savior, we have also seen many precious people experience inward transformation as they take this step of faith. We’ve seen them supernaturally delivered from bad habits and addictions, walk in the newness of life they have in Christ, and experience deeper intimacy with the Lord.