You’ve probably heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Although we cannot negate the power of the gospel spoken in words, there is great benefit in seeing salvation vividly acted out in the baptism of a new believer. When we enter the waters of baptism, we are portraying several truths:
We are proclaiming the gospel message—that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and raised to life on the third day. Baptism serves as a reminder of what the Savior has done for us.
We are also showing what has happened to us through salvation (Rom. 6:3-14). Plunging beneath the surface pictures the death and burial of our old self with Christ. Being raised up out of the water expresses our new life in Christ and our union with Him. As our heavenly Father physically raised Jesus from the dead and gave Him life, He has done the same for us spiritually. We are no longer the person we once were, because Christ has broken the power of sin in our lives.
Baptism is also a public declaration of our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and in our own future bodily resurrection. It points to the truth that there is life beyond the grave. Someday we, too, will receive a resurrected body and live forever with Christ.
Baptism is a commandment for all believers, not an option. As such, it is both an obligation and an awesome privilege. Our unbelieving family and friends need to physically see this truth in our life. Have you publicly identified yourself with Jesus through the act of baptism?