What do Christadelphians believe about Baptism?

Baptism is an important part of a Christian’s walk and to discuss this topic during the blog, I will use the following questions to help us through this topic.

What is baptism?

The physical act of baptism is the full immersion of the body in water. However, what baptism represents is far greater as the believer has made a public confession of their faith to want to serve God and Jesus. The act of baptism symbolises the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which will be looked at during this blog.

Baptism is the full submersion of the body in water and the following passages support the evidence:

John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (John 3:23).

And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him (Acts 8:38).

Even the Lord Jesus who was the perfect example was baptised and His was in like manner to the above passages.

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him… (Matthew 3:16)

But the biggest reason why baptism is the full submersion of the body and what this physical act symbolises spiritually is in the following verses: 

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his (Romans 6:3-5).

So here we have the symbolic meaning of the physical act where Jesus gave His body and laid down his life for us; where he was buried as we go down into the waters of baptism. Here our sins from our old way of life are symbolically washed away before we come up out of the water, which represents the resurrection and walk into newness of life

Why do we need to be baptised? 

The reason for us doing this is that unlike the Lord Jesus, everyone has sinned and this is written for us: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). 

When we sin, we commit an offense against God by doing something that was the opposite of what He wanted. We all do this and miss the gold-standard, but it is not the end and we have a hope as Jesus sacrificed his life for us as it is written ‘…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…’ (Romans 3:23-4).

Baptism is also often associated with being born again and this is because it is required to enter the kingdom: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God…”(John 3:5)

The element of baptism confirms the water aspect and the spirit is by God’s power and grace, God can give us a place in His Kingdom. This place in the Kingdom of God is a gift that encouraged the 1st century Christians to want to be baptised and the message hasn’t changed today. “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

The kingdom is a whole topic in itself and a time to truly look forward to as unlike the world today, God will no longer allow pain, crying or suffering but everlasting life as death will be no more as we can read in Revelation chapter 21. This is reinforced in the following verses: I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality (1 Corinthians 15:50-53). 

Final thoughts regarding baptism

Baptism is a fundamental aspect of our belief and service. The future time to come is important and gives everyone the chance and hope to be saved. 

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).

It does not matter what your past was as God can forgive all of it, if we let Him, as He sent His son, Jesus, who laid down his life for us all to give us the chance of being in the future Kingdom.

Written by Matthew M.

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