Baptism is long understood as the first step of becoming a follower of Jesus. When we are baptized, we go under the water to symbolize the death of our old self, and are then brought out of the water as an image of the new life we’re given in Jesus. It is the outward expression of the inward reality. But how can we understand baptism during a time of social distance and isolation? How should we practice it and why it is important? Join us as we discover the importance and necessity of baptism, and how we might practice it during these strange times.
- Baptism is a visual of the gospel
- Baptism is the outward sign of an inward reality.
- Baptism is the clearest picture of the church’s mission
- The person: Who can be baptized? (v. 26-28)
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. -Isaiah 56:3-5
“God has come for the Eunuch precisely in his difference and exactly in the complexities of his life. He matters, not because he is close to worldly power and thus a more appealing pawn. He simply matters…” - Willie James Jennings
Q: Who can be baptized?
Short answer: anyone who confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- The purpose: Why do we baptize? (v. 29-35)
Short answer: we baptize in order to display what faith in Jesus is.
“Faith…is a death experience that leads to a resurrection experience." -Michael Gorman
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. -Philippians 3:10-11
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 3:20
- The process: When and how should we baptize? (v. 36-38)
Short answer: we baptize by immersion in water after confessing Christ
…with little reservation
…alongside a confession
…before a community
…by any other follower of Jesus
…as a communal step of faith