What is baptism? Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to work on a Baptism Handbook for my church. You won’t be surprised to hear that there are a lot of different ideas about the meaning and significance of baptism. One illustration I have found helpful to communicate the meaning of baptism is a wedding ring. So…let’s talk about wedding rings and baptism.
Baptism is like a wedding ring, it is an outward picture of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that should be lived out daily.
I am not presently married. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make a person married. Just like putting a wedding ring on my finger, would not make me a married man, being baptized does not make someone a true believer in Christ. Imagine now that I actually was married: I convinced a girl to marry me, we had the ceremony, it’s official! If for some reason I needed to take off my ring for the day, would that somehow make me unmarried? Of course not! I would still be married just the same. In the same way, it is possible to be a believer in Christ, and not baptized.
Here’s the deal though, when I’m married, do you think I am going to wear my wedding ring? You better believe I am! I want my wife and the whole world to know that I love her, am committed to her, and belong to her — back off ladies!
In the same way, if a person has placed their faith in Jesus, they should want everyone to know about it. Baptism is the way you tell the world I love Jesus, am committed to Jesus, and belong to Jesus. It is a public statement to everyone who watches that you have trusted Christ for salvation and are committed to living for Him.
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