When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. - Colossians 2:11-12
In the Old Testament, God’s people represented to others that they were set apart for Him by a physical action called circumcision. Circumcision, though something that told the world a person belonged to God, did not make a person belong to God. It was people’s faith in God that made them right with Him (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1-3, 10-11).
In the New Testament, Christians are also called to follow through with their faith by a physical action: baptism. In this Colossians passage, Paul explains to Christians that, when they participated in the physical follow-through action of baptism, it showed that “Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
In Scripture, we see that new Christians are baptized when they choose to believe in and follow Jesus. The pattern of discipleship (training followers of Christ) Jesus gives us includes baptizing and teaching new believers about God’s truths.
WHAT DOES BAPTISM DO?
Baptism is a public expression of a believer’s inward decision to follow Christ. It represents that we have chosen to identify our lives with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection by trusting in Him and following Him as our Lord and Savior. It is a physical, visible picture of the spiritual reality of dying to an old life (of living for ourselves) and being raised to a new life in Christ (walking in a way that is marked by His love, grace, truth, and Spirit.)
HOW CAN I BE BAPTIZED?
If you have believed in Christ and chosen to confess Him as Lord, one of the first steps to take is connecting with other Christians. Tell a Christian you know and visit a local church to make your decision known, expressing your desire to be baptized.
What Baptism IS…
> an outward expression of an inward reality for a believer in Christ Jesus
> an act of obedience for all believers in Christ
> a declaration to the world that a believer has been raised to live a new life with Christ Jesus
What Baptism is NOT…
> a human work to make us right with God
> the only step of obedience Christians are called to
> an action for people who do not believe in Christ Jesus