#15: Why Do We Baptize People?
Why do we baptize people during worship? Baptism is a sacrament instituted by the Lord Jesus himself when he gave the Great Commission to his followers -- Go into all the world, make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28). A sacrament is both a physical sign and a spiritual gift. The application of water signifies many realities: we are members of the Universal Church and the local congregation; we have died to sin and have been raised to righteousness by being joined to Christ's death and resurrection; we are empowered by the Holy Spirit for ministry; and we are beloved by God as His children. Baptism marks the beginning of the Christian life. Many Christians are baptized as children and spend their lives growing into their baptismal identity. The baptism of children reminds us that God claims people in love even before they are able to respond in faith. Adults are baptized when they make a profession of faith in Christ, reminding us that the gift of God's grace calls for our grateful response. Other rites of the church are built upon baptism -- ordination, commissioning for special ministries, and services of healing and wholeness. In short, Baptism is the font, or well-spring, of the Christian life. Now you know Why We Do That.