170. What is the meaning of baptism?

This means of grace tells me two things:

1. Just as water cleanses the body, so Christ’s blood cleanses us from all sin.

2. Just as the baptised one appears submerged in water and cleansed again, so baptism represents the death of the old person and the renewal of the new person.

So, baptism is both a symbol and a pledge that my sins really are washed away by Christ’s blood. It points me to the cross and proclaims: “This has happened for you too!”

It is also a pledge that I died with Christ, was buried, rose again (rebirth) and was baptised with the Holy Spirit in order to walk in a new life from then on.

  • Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
  • He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
  • Do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4)
  • For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
  • But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:4-5)