What is the purpose of baptism? The best way to understand baptism is to look in the Bible. Acts 2:38 says, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ ” Let’s look at that a little closer. Before someone gets baptized, they need to repent. Repentance means that you feel sorry for the sins that you’ve committed and want Jesus to help you change. And when you decide that you want to make better choices and live your life committed to Jesus, that’s when you know you are ready for baptism.
Being baptized is a public announcement of the decision that you made and it is also a symbol of new life – the death of our sins in a watery grave and a new life with Jesus. And when you are baptized, it’s like Jesus throws your sins into the very depths of the sea and forgets they ever happened. Then you receive a very special gift - the Holy Spirit - who helps you stay true to your commitment to Jesus.
Jesus didn’t need to get baptized, but He did anyway. He didn’t need to have His sins washed away, because He’s never ever sinned. He alone is perfect. He did so, however, because He is our example in all things and wanted us to understand how important baptism is.
If you have not been baptized and would like to be, talk to your pastor about joining a baptismal class at your church.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and a He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:13-17