Put simply baptism is a picture of death and resurrection/new birth. With that answer, another obvious question arises, why? Why would anyone want to be a picture of death and resurrection? Here are the reasons given in the Bible. (These answers assume the one being baptized is a born again believer in Jesus).
- They have died and been raised. Ephesians 2 says that we were dead in your trespasses and sins but God raised us (born again believers) up with Jesus and seated us in Christ Jesus. The one being baptized has been born again. They are now a new man or woman and Christ and their old self has been crucified with Christ. This is not something the christian does to themselves, it is something that the Holy Spirit does in his mighty power. When a Christian goes under the baptism water and comes back up, they are portraying a visible picture for everyone to see what happened in their life. Upon conversion, the Christian’s old life died with Christ and they are now a new person who has been united with Jesus and given the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in obedience with Jesus. Has this happen in your life? If not, it can happen to you right not. Repent of your sins and turn to Jesus, then you can experience what baptism pictures.
- They are identifying themselves with the death and resurrection of Jesus. In both Romans 6 and Colossians 2, the believer is described in baptism as dying with Christ and being raised with Christ. The believer is united with Christ upon conversion and is now proclaiming to their new family, “I am Christ’s! I am willing to die with him, literally and figuratively, in order that I may also be raised with him”.
- They are receiving the sign of the new covenant. They are proclaiming to the whole community that they have given their entire life to Jesus, in order to be a child of God.
- They are walking in obedience to Jesus. Everyone who is born again is called by God to be baptized. As a matter of fact, walking in obedience to God by being baptized is a sign of someone who is truly converted. This is what we see in 2 Peter 3:21 “And that water [of the flood in Noah’s day] 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.” (NLT)