Why should we be baptized?
A person should be baptized to follow the example of Christ (Mat. 3:13-17), to obey Christ's command (Mat. 28:18), to accept forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38 ; 22:16), to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 ), to express trust in Christ (Acts 8:12-13 ), and to testify to God's work in his or her life (Rom. 6:1-8 ; Gal. 3:27 ). Baptism also serves to cleanse a guilty conscience (1 Pet. 3:21 ). The Holy Spirit prompts individuals to recognize their sin and guilt. The only method by which the human soul can be wiped clean of sin is through the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:27-10:7 ). This "washing away" of sin is most clearly symbolized in the act of baptism (Acts 22:16 ; 1 Pet. 3:21 ).
Since one of the biggest obstacles between God and man is human pride, baptism also offers a venue by which believers humble themselves before God and others and admit their need for Christ's redemption (James 4:6 ). In addition, baptism meets a God-given human need for expression. Everyone needs an outlet for emotion, or an expression for an impression. Baptism is the outlet for an expression of faith in Christ.
The act of baptism cannot save an individual. We are saved only through accepting Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Baptism demonstrates the believer's acceptance of Christ and is the point of time when the believer receives assurance of his or her faith. Those who were never baptized by immersion but were sprinkled for baptism as infants rest in God's merciful hands. We hope that Jesus will say to any person who has truly submitted to him but was not taught about immersion, "Your faith has saved you." Yet someone who understands Christ's command to be baptized and refuses to obey should not consider himself to have submitted to Christ.