Question: "What is the importance of Christian baptism?"
Answer: Christian baptism, according to the Bible, is an outward testimony of what has occurred inwardly in a believerís life. Christian baptism illustrates a believerís identification with Christís death, burial, and resurrection. The Bible declares, ďOr don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new lifeĒ (Romans 6:3-4 NIV). In Christian baptism, the action of being immersed in the water pictures being buried with Christ. The action of coming out of the water pictures Christís resurrection.
In Christian baptism, there should be two requirements before a person is baptized: (1) the person being baptized must have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior, and (2) the person must understand what baptism signifies. If a person knows the Lord Jesus as Savior, understands that Christian baptism is a step of obedience in publicly proclaiming his faith in Christ, and desires to be baptized Ė then there is no reason to prevent the believer from being baptized. According to the Bible, Christian baptism is simply a step of obedience, a public proclamation of oneís faith in Christ alone for salvation. Christian baptism is important because it is a step of obedience Ė publicly declaring faith in Christ and commitment to Him, and identification with Christís death, burial, and resurrection.