What Is Baptism?
The last thing Jesus said on Earth was this: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” So for Jesus, this idea of baptizing people that want to follow him was nonnegotiable.
So what is baptism? The word means to be immersed or washed with water. But beginning with John the Baptist (get it?), deep meaning was attributed to the process of going under water and coming up again.
In the book of Romans, Paul says that when we are baptized, we are identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus. He writes, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” By being immersed, we are saying that our old self is dead and to be left behind. And as we emerge, we take on the resurrection of Jesus for ourselves. As Paul writes elsewhere, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.” (Gal. 2:20)