Doug's Advenntures
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
  What's the Meaning of Baptism?

Many ask searching questions about baptism, and what it means to a Christian. Some common questions that are frequently asked include:

Why should I be baptized?
What does baptism mean?
I’ll never be good enough, so why bother?
Why can’t I just be baptized into Christ, without joining your church?

My Re-Birthday! – Experiencing Christ’s Resurrection Power
Baptism is full of deep meaning. Like Christ, who was buried in the tomb after his complete surrender in His death on the cross, so in baptism, we too join Christ in dying to our attempts at being “good enough”. We die to self. We die to religion. We die to every human attempt to reach God, by being better. We die, and Christ lives through us, and in us. This is the New Birth!

NKJ Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

NIV 1 Peter 3:21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand-- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Galatians 2:19-20 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Marriage to Christ
Baptism is a public celebration of your love relationship with Jesus Christ! You are "walking down the aisle" showing your allegiance to the One who loves you so much - Jesus! Baptism is an outward & public display, or "ceremony" of what God is doing inside your heart, and in your life. Baptism means that you are accepting Christ as the one who forgives you. In baptism you accept Christ as your leader, joining in His death by dying to selfishness, pride, sin, thus allowing our past mistakes and regrets to be entombed. We experience His resurrection power in our lives!
2 Corinthians 11:2

Accepting the Calling of God's Last Day Search & Rescue Team
Baptism means that you have an understanding of the teachings, doctrines, and mission of the Adventist Movement. This worldwide prophetic movement of God transcends every human boundary - cultural, ethic, etc. As we humbly accept God's call, we are transformed by His Spirit, and thus we share what difference Christ makes in our everyday life.
Revelation 14:6-12, Matthew 28:17-20

"Joining the Army" in the Battle against sin
Baptism is a public testimony of your decision to join the Adventist Movement as it shares the Gospel to the world in these last days. We are at war – the war against sin, pride, and selfishness. As we are changed by God’s power, we can invite others to experience God’s life changing presence.
2 Timothy 2:3-4

Living Real Life
Only through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can we practice what you believe, victory over addictions, witnessing how Christ changes your life with those around you. Christians are often accused of being hypocrites. Yet this is only half true. When we make mistakes, Christians don't have to cover them up, because Christ has forgiven us, and His grace empowers us to overcome.
John 14:16, Philippians 4:13

Equipped for God's Calling for My Ministry
Christ received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at his baptism, and thus he was equipped for his ministry here on earth. Through the Holy Spirit's ministry of giving us spiritual gifts, abilities, and skills, we are to to build up the Body of Christ, His Church. This is done most commonly through the various ministries of the local church.
Ephesians 4:12

Fellowship of Suffering with Christ
Baptism for the Christ follower is a reminder that we won't have an easy life. But we are promised that Christ will never leave us, and He will be with us though it all.
2 Corinthians 1:5, 8-9, Philippians 3:10


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