New City Catechism Question 44
What is baptism?
Baptism is the washing with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; it signifies and seals our adoption into Christ, our cleansing from sin, and our commitment to belong to the Lord and to his church.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. . . . (Matthew 28:19)
I remember when I was baptized. I was in the third grade. The plan was simple. Wear a baptism robe, enter the baptismal water, share my testimony, be baptized, and share what happened with everyone around me.
Here was the thing: the baptismal water that day was ice cold. It had a broken water heater so I shivered throughout the entire process, stuttering as I shared how I had come to faith in Christ as a 6-year old boy.
Maybe your story is quite different than mine. What matters is your act of obedience in coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. His work is what saves you, not the baptism itself. Baptism is a dramatic display of what God has done in your life. Your old life was buried under the water, forever forgotten. Through Christ, you are restored as a new creation, walking in newness of life.
When we have had the opportunity to have a baptism witnessed in our church, we often sing this great hymn which reminds us of the significance of baptism. Feel free to listen to it below.