Baptism Sunday is coming up this next week, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a quick write-up on what baptism is about. This is good information for an adult, but basic enough that a parent can share this resource with a child that might be considering baptism.
Before we talk about baptism, we need to understand salvation. Salvation is the act of being saved from something harmful. In the church we have a lot of church jargon-words only other church people understand. So when we talk about salvation we mean being rescued from our own sins-sins which the Bible says, deserve our death (Romans 6:23). But God had a rescue plan from the beginning. He knew He would send His son to die in our place. His son, Jesus, paid our price. But we must acknowledge Jesus died to save us, believe it to be true, and then confess our sins, or the wrongs we have done.
You can use the following questions to determine if you (or your child) is ready to ask Jesus to be Lord of your (his/her) life. The main goal is to recognize that your sin separates you from God and that Jesus’ death on the cross makes you right with God.
- Who is Jesus? Matthew 3:16-17
- What is sin? 1 John 5:17 Have I sinned? Romans 3:23
- What did Jesus do on the cross? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Why did He have to die? 2 Corinthians 5:21
- What happens to our sins when we ask Jesus to forgive us and we say/confess our sins out loud? 1 John 1:9
The next step is asking Jesus to be the Lord of your life. This is the best part! Here is an example prayer you can use if you need it.
“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and I need You to save me. Thank you for dying on the cross. Because of this, I am forgiven. I want you to be leader of my life. Help me live my life for You. Amen”
After Salvation Comes Baptism
As a follower of Christ, you need to make your decision public, by getting baptized. Baptism is a picture of what Jesus did on the cross and He tells us to be baptized to show others that we follow Him. Baptism is when we go under the water symbolizing the washing away your sins and Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus died and came back to life on the third day. You can read Matthew 3:1-16, Matthew 28:16-20, and John 3:1-21.
- Does this mean you’ll never sin again? 1 John 1:8-10 and Romans 6:1-5
- When you sin again, what should you do? 1 John 1:9
Another great illustration to help understand the significance of baptism is a wedding ring. A wedding ring is a symbol that you have made the choice to love your spouse. Baptism is a symbol that you have chosen to love and follow Christ.
Jesus modeled baptism in Matthew 3:13-17 and we were commanded to be baptized in Acts 2:38.
The final step should last throughout the rest of your life. God wants you to share your unique faith story with those around you. Paul gave us an amazing example in Acts 26:2-23. Your faith story should include how you became a Christian and how your life changed after becoming a Christian.