Baptism is something someone does after they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. Once a person believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they should be baptized. Baptism is going into the water, going under the water and coming up out of the water. This shows that you have been born again. It declares that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Someone else baptizes you in the water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is going under the water

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.” (Matthew 3:16). Jesus went into the Jordan River and was baptized by his cousin John (Yahya). Jesus walked into the river and then John helped him go under the water and come up from under the water.

“Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 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.” (Romans 6:2-24).

In baptism, we go under water to show that we died to our old life without Christ. We go under the water to show that we have died to our old life of sin. We come up from under the water to show that we are now living a new life for Christ. We will live a new life for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Where are people baptized?

Most people are baptized in churches. Many churches have what is called a baptism pool. It is small pool like the size of a tub. The person who is getting baptized walks down some stairs into the baptism pool and stands in the water with the person who is going to baptize them. Then the person baptizing them holds them with one hand on the back and gently lowers them under the water and then lifts them up again. But you can be baptized anywhere where you can go under water. You can do it in a swimming pool, or a bathtub, or anywhere else where you can go under water.

In the Bible times most people were baptized in rivers or lakes. “As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.” (Acts 8:36-38)

When are people baptized?

People should be baptized immediately after they have put their faith in Jesus Christ and are saved. There is no need to wait or take any classes. Once you believe in Jesus Christ you should be baptized that very day.

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.” (Acts 16:31-34).

If you believe you need to get baptized

Baptism is not an option. Baptism is something you must do if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. “Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved.” (Mark 16:16). If you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, you should be baptized.

Baptism shows that you believe in Jesus

Baptism does not clean you from you sins. Only the blood of Jesus can clean you from you sins. After you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour then Jesus will wash away your sins and forgive you of your sins by the power of His blood. Then you can be baptized to show that you have had your sins forgiven, and that you have been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21).

Does baptism have to be done publicly

You do not baptize yourself. You are baptized by someone else, so there has to be at least one person who is there with you when you are getting baptized. Most people get baptized in churches in front of the whole church. But you don’t have to do that. You can ask to be baptized in a different place with only a few people, or alone with the one person who is baptizing you.

Did Jesus say we need to be baptized

Jesus commanded his disciples that they should go out into the whole world and tell people that they can have their sins forgiven by believing in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Once a person believes in Jesus then they should be baptized. Jesus said that they had to be baptized, it is not an option. It is necessary for you to be baptized if you believe in Jesus.

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).

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© Somali Christian Ministries, 2014
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