Well, here is the story:
In baptism we identify with the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a symbolic act driven by a real faith that Jesus is the Son of God.
Going under the water symbolizes death & burial; and coming up out of the water symbolizes resurrection. When we are baptized, we declare that we are willing to 'die' to the former selfish life and live as a friend of God.
A person comes to believe the message that God the Father loves us and forgives us all offenses, because we believe that Jesus is His Son; we ask and receive forgiveness in Jesus' name. And one of the first deliberate acts of obedience is to be baptized as Jesus commands in Matthew 28:19
Through faith in Christ, we are born spiritually into the life that God intended for Adam & Eve. A life that was lost through sin. Adam and Eve sinned by breaking the only rule there ever was, at first.
See Genesis Ch.3
"Sin" merely means 'missing the mark of perfection'.
Even if one drives very well, all I have to do is talk on my mobile while driving and I will still get pulled over. I could say: "But officer, I stop at every red light; I never speed; I'm wearing my seatbelt!" But he needs to talk about the law that I didn't follow.
God's standard for his home in heaven is holiness; perfection. Only God is perfect. Thats why the scripture says in Paul's letter to the Romans: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Rom 3:23
The spiritual cost is much higher than the worldly cost.
If I violate a traffic law, the penalties are Pounds and points.
But "...the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
Not because God kills us, but because we step off a cliff when we sin; and fall, fall, fall away.
But God didn't turn His back on us and walk away...
"...the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."Romans 6:23
God loves us. He gave himself as a bridge across the expanse between our failing and His perfection.
Jesus agreed to the Father's plan be the final sacrifice offered for all sin. God did not 'wink' at sin and just overlook the law. That would be unfair.
Jesus paid the price of every 'violation' with his own life:
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Baptism is a symbolic act that proclaims a spiritual truth:
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; (they have) crossed over from death to life." ~John 5:24
We go down into the water (from death)
and come up out of it (to life)
We don't necessarily look different. Maybe we don't immediately feel different. But the life lived from that point forward begins to show 'evidence' that reflects 'the spiritual life' we are now living as a friend of God.
"Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him." ~Acts 8:36-38 (NKJ)
If you believe and want to be baptized, please contact us at:
david (@) alvabaptist (dot) org
Please comment below.