Daily Devotional

What is the meaning of baptism

Average reading time is about 5 minutes

The word “baptism” comes from the Greek word “baptizo,” which means to immerse, submerge, or to cleanse by dipping something under water. In one sense, it represents death—the breath “stops” while the person is under water. When we come up from the water, we are “raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1)—resurrected to a new life.

It also represents a new birth. When a baby is born, it comes out of an envelope of water, and it takes a breath. So baptism also represents being born again. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, … unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Baptism signifies that new start in our lives, with God in control.

Even Jesus, though He never sinned, set an example for us when He went to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Scripture tells us, “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him” (Matthew 3:16).

Baptism is a ceremony where a person is saying, “I’ve turned away from my sins and have committed my life to Jesus.” It is usually done publicly; a pastor immerses someone and they come up out of the water with all their old sins washed away. Baptism shows that they’ve accepted salvation through Christ.

Naturally, after baptism, a person’s focus should be different. The Bible says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). If we have committed our lives to God, our center of attention should be on spiritual things. Our main focus should be on pleasing God rather than on pleasing ourselves.

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Romans 6:4

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