What is baptism?
As a spectator, baptism may look like a ritual involving water and some spoken words. It is true that a proper baptism does involve the application of water and speaking Jesus' words, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19-20) But what happens in baptism is beyond a ritual. Baptism is God's work of restoration and regeneration through Jesus Christ. Through baptism, a person is washed clean and made holy before God. In the moment of our baptism, we are united together with Jesus in His death and resurrection. Giving us NEW LIFE in Christ. Romans 6:3-4 makes this clear:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.
Why do we baptize?
Simply put: We need it. The Bible is very clear about the sin we have all inherited. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) In our sinfulness, we stand guilty before God and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. From God's Word, we know that Baptism declares, signifies and seals what God has done through His Son. God's plan to save the world from sin was accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Baptism is what unites us with Christ. Jesus reunites us in a relationship with our heavenly Father.
In Baptism we are given the gifts of faith, forgiveness and God's amazing grace - rescuing us from death and bringing us into His eternal family.