What is baptism?

Baptism is the initiation into the Christian community and the first steps into the life of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Great Commission says that we are to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Water baptism has a rich history that dates back to the time of the Israelites. In the Old Testament, baptism means washing or cleansing. It was a ritual that symbolized purity. In the New Testament, it continued to have that meaning but another element was added. Baptism also became symbolic of death and resurrection. The immersion of the body under the water indicates death to an old way of life and the raising of the body out of the water indicates the resurrection to a new way of life as a follower of Christ.

Ancient Baptismal Covenant

 Do you believe in God the Father? I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God? I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit? I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.