What happened when you became a Christian?

 

The moment you believed on Jesus Christ and received Him as your personal Savior, several miraculous things happened.

 
God forgave all your sins!
 
Colossians 2:11-14 (NLT)

 

“When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure––the cutting away of your sinful nature.  For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized.  And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.   You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.  Then God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave all our sins.  He canceled the record that contained the charges against us.

 He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.”
 
 You were declared “Not Guilty!”
Romans 3:23-25 (NLT)
 
 “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty.  He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.  For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us.”
 
 You were “born again” and began a new life!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

 

“What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone.  A new life has begun!”
 
 You became a child of God!
1 John 3:1 (NKJV)
 

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,  that we should be called children of God!”

 You became a member of God’s family – the Church!
1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 27 (NLT)  
       
 “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body.  So it is with the body of Christ.  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free.  But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit . . .  Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.”
 
 You received the gift of eternal life!
1 John 5:11-12 (NKJV)
 
 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
 
 You were set free from sin’s power to control your life!
Romans 6:17-18 (NLT)
 

 “Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you.  Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.”

 

These are just a few of the many passages which reveal the blessings you received from God when you became a Christian.  As Ephesians 2:8-9 explains, your salvation is a gift from God you received by saving faith in Jesus Christ:

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”

 

Why is it important to be baptized in water?

 

Being baptized in water is important because it is represents what happened to you when you became a Christian.  This is summarized in Romans 6:3-8 (NLT), which says:

 “Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him?  For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism.  And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was.  Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.  For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.  And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life.”

In other words, when you are lowered into the water, this represents the fact that you died with Christ and were buried with Him.  When you are brought up out of the water you identify with Christ in His resurrection, and the beginning of your new life as a Christian.  This is also why we baptize by immersion, because it more accurately portrays what happened to us when we became a Christian.

In addition to representing your identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, baptism is important because it is a public declaration of your faith in Christ to others.

As Christians, we have all been called to tell others how they can be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life.  One of the best ways  
you can do this is by sharing your personal testimony with them, explaining how God forgave you and how you are now committing yourself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

 

By being baptized in water, you are letting your friends and family know that your old life is over, and your new life in Christ has begun! Finally, by being baptized in water you are:

 
 Following the example of Jesus

 “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 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).

 

Following the New Testament pattern

“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.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.’  Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them”

(Acts 3:38-39, 41).

 

What will happen when you are being baptized?

 
We are excited
that you will be following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ by being baptized in water.  This is an important step in your spiritual journey because you are declaring to your family and friends your intent to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

 As fellow members in the body of Christ, we want you to know that we applaud your willingness to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, and we are praying that this will be a spiritually significant moment in your relationship with Christ.

You will be invited to the baptismal tank in the front of the church by the pastor, who will also help you up the steps into the tank.

 You will then sit down in the tank and the pastor will say that he is baptizing you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

 Following this, he will hold your nose and lower you into the water.  He will then lift you up and help you step out of the tank. 

 A pastor will then hand you a towel and you can make your way to a restroom to change into dry clothes and return to enjoy the rest of the service.