According to John 3:23 and Matthew 3:16, new believers walked into a section of the river where the water was deep enough to be fully immersed, resembling Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Paul explains that water baptism symbolizes burying the old life and rising into a new life. Therefore those believing in Christ are baptized in water to express their faith in public.
“Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6: 2-4 (WEB)
Jesus Christ, before ascending to Heaven, instructed his disciples to baptize believers in water:
‘Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go[a] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.’ Matthew 28:18-20
Sharing our experiences of our new lives and the blessing we enjoy can encourage our audience and lead them to believe in Jesus Christ. New believers need help and support at the start of their new lives. Therefore, we take them to church or a fellowship group to grow spiritually. One of the first steps they need to take is getting baptized in the water. You may baptize them in water if you live in a city or town too far from a church. Baptism can be performed in a river, a shower tub at home, a pool, or anywhere with deep enough water and space for friends to participate.
To illustrate how baptism is done, let's assume that John is a mature Christian who lives in a town without a church. And Todd is a new believer who wants to be baptized in water. John enters the water first, then Todd follows him into the water, puts his arms on his chest like an X, and grabs his nose with one hand, so he doesn't inhale water during baptism. If the water is not deep enough, Todd sits down, so the water covers most of his body. Then John asks Todd a few questions: "Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, that He is your Lord and Savior?" After Todd responds positively, John prays a blessing like: "Todd, according to your confession of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ." Then John puts one of his hands on Todd's shoulder and the other hand on his chest and dunks him backward into water such that the water covers Todd's entire body; then, he helps him rise and stand up. Then all believers watching the ceremony applaud them and praise the Lord.
It is a personal decision to be baptized in water. Therefore children should reach an age to decide independently if they want to be baptized in water. People usually invite their relatives and friends to come and watch their baptism, a confession of faith, and the inauguration of a new life.
Please click on “Dedication of Infants” to continue.