Do I Need Baptism?

September 7, 2021

“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.”

Acts 1:5

Written by Brad Cleveland from the West Franklin Campus

What About It?

If you look on this page, you will see an important word. It’s a word you see every time you visit our website, read our church bulletin, or darken our doors. It’s the word “Baptist.” What is so important about the act of baptism that we would identify ourselves by it?

We believe baptism is constituted by submersion into water as an outward proclamation that you now follow Jesus. It’s typically said over the one being baptized: “Buried with Christ in baptism; raised with Him to walk in new life.” It expresses the inward reality that you have died to yourself and that the life you now live is lived to, for, and with the resurrected Christ.


Christ, Our Example

Luke mentions in Acts 1:5 that John baptized with water. Luke is alluding to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, performed by John the Baptist. This was the moment that began the earthly ministry of Jesus in earnest. The Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and the voice of the Father rang out, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (cf. Mt 3:16-17).

We, however, are baptized by the Holy Spirit. The outward expression of baptism, identifying us as members of the body of Christ, is an important step of obedience for all who believe on Jesus. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of eternal consequence.


Identity Found in Jesus

The baptism of the Holy Spirit happens upon salvation, and this baptism marks the beginning of new life. It is a spiritual baptism, in which God begins His work of sanctifying you, and He will not let up until the work is complete. The Holy Spirit gives you everything you need to live your life with God.

This is why we identify as Baptists and precisely the reason why we hold baptism so closely. It is how we profess our faith in Christ and where we find our identity as citizens in His kingdom. It’s also how God bestows on us everything we need in this life to walk with Him.


Now What?

Take a moment to reflect on the act of baptism. If you have experienced believer’s baptism, consider what it truly means as an outward reflection of Christ’s work in your life. Thank Him for all He has done in your life. If you have not yet been baptized but would like to be, reach out to the leadership at your church for next steps.


Related Resources

Why Do I Have to Be Baptized?