Baptism in the Bible

Check out these passages for a biblical perspective on baptism. Answer the questions below in your Field Guide to help you decide if you need to be baptized.

We’ve already heard about the significance of baptism from Peter and Luke in Acts 2. In the following verses we’ll hear from Paul, the Roman church, and Jesus too!

Romans 6:1-5

Faith and repentance make sense but baptism’s importance can be a head-scratcher. Why do the faithful and repentant need to get dunked? Well, in this passage Paul connects baptism to the cross and the resurrection of Jesus – there couldn’t possibly be a bigger connection!

Paul is reminding the Roman Christians that they became saved when they participated in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection at baptism.

  • “We died to sin” is repentance, which MUST come before baptism (children and babies can’t repent so they are not candidates for baptism – no child is ever baptized in the bible – only faithful and repentant adults)
  • “Baptized into his death” is so important. If Jesus wasn’t really dead then there is no resurrection. We need to be as dead as we can be to our old life when we decide to get baptized. Good thing we’ve been talking about sin and repentance!
  • “Just as Christ was raised” we come out of the water to a new life – sins forgiven, gift of the Holy Spirit, promise of eternal life. We won’t be perfect but we should be changed!
  • “If we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” is an amazing promise that baptism is more than a symbol. It is our participation in the cross and resurrection that unites us with Christ. 

Mark 16:16

This passage really needs no explanation. Jesus links salvation with baptism in Mark’s great commission!

In Your Field Guide answer these questions so you can talk to your bible study partner about next steps for salvation:

  • Have you been baptized before? If so, write down the details of that experience
  • In the past, were you dead to sin (repentant) at your baptism(s)? Your life should completely change after baptism as you proclaim Jesus as the new Lord of your life
  • Did you understand (have faith in Jesus and the gospel) what you were committing to?
  • Do you have any questions about baptism or re-baptism (BTW getting baptized again is A-Okay biblically – it’s doing it right that counts!)
  • Have a great (helpful, non-judgmental) talk about these questions with your bible study partner!

Further Study If Needed:

You might have more questions – well, here are some more great verses about baptism to check out!

  • Ephesians 4:4-6 – By the time Paul wrote this letter, there was a universal standard for baptism in the church
  • Colossians 2:11-12 – Note the importance of faith and the connection to the rite of circumcision by which one would become a part of God’s people in the Old Testament
  • 1 Peter 3:18-21 – Here baptism is connected to the flood that washed away sin
  • Acts 22:1-15 – Paul recounts his conversion which culminated in being baptized for the forgiveness of sin
  • Acts 19:1-5 – People whose baptism was not connected to the cross and resurrection are baptized again
  • Acts 8:26-40 – The Ethiopian Eunuch shows us the attitude that anyone should have when they hear about Jesus and have the chance to be baptized!