What’s baptism and why does it matter?
Today's Devotional Scriptures:
When you think of “baptism,” what comes to mind? If you said “dunking someone in water”—you’re not wrong! Many churches have different approaches to baptism, but the ultimate purpose of baptism is to outwardly express an inward change. It is both a symbolic expression of faith and an act of obedient surrender and repentance, which is why it’s the natural next step someone takes after they make a decision to believe in and follow Christ.
This public act allows us to identify with Christ’s death and resurrection, repent from the way we used to live, and celebrate the new, eternal life we have because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
But even before Jesus came to earth, God symbolizes His ability to redeem people and make them new by having them pass through water. It happened to the Israelites as they crossed the Red Sea, and again when they crossed the Jordan River. It occurs to Naaman the leprous commander in 2 Kings who is healed once he dips in the Jordan River seven times. (And these are just a few examples!) In each of these instances, God prophetically showcases His power and glory by using water to illustrate His ability to cleanse, heal, restore, and redeem.
When Jesus comes, He publicly confirms His commitment to God through baptism. And by doing so, He also foreshadows what will happen when He dies for humanity and arises from the dead three days later. So when we take part in baptism, we are choosing to live like Jesus by following His example. We are choosing to let God redeem and heal us by dying to our old selves and allowing Him to raise us up to a new life.
Baptism matters because it’s something that Jesus exemplified, and commanded His disciples to do. So as you process what baptism means to you, look for opportunities to bring others along with you. Talk to them about what it means to follow Jesus, and consider inviting them to take part in the act of baptism.
Here are some questions you might want to ask…
Do you believe you need Jesus?
What does believing in Jesus mean to you?
Do you believe that Jesus died for you and rose again?
What does following Jesus look like?
How have you asked God to forgive you for your past mistakes?
Have you invited Jesus into your life?
Take a few moments today to cultivate discussions about faith with other people who are in different places in their walk with God. Then, reflect on which of these Plan days you would like to explore more, and use the YouVersion Discover feature to find more resources and verses around that topic.
Credits & Acknowledgements to bible.com & youversion.com