Why do Christians undergo water baptism?
Do you remember the day you were baptized in water? What benefit did you get out of it? For some Christians, water baptism was a life-changing and memorable encounter, but there are those Christians who don't esteem their baptism experience as high as others.
Regardless of the feelings evoked or memories created, one thing is for sure - water baptism provides for us a set of benefits. If it did not then the Bible wouldn't be full of scriptures that encourage us to undergo water baptism. Is it a prerequisite to salvation? Not necessarily. But it does provide us with advantages both in the spiritual and the natural.
Water baptism is so important that even Jesus took the effort to be baptized as well. He said, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15) There is a fulfillment that follows water baptism, but how? Here are three immediate and lasting benefits to water baptism.
I've always liked thinking water baptism as a parallel to a spiritual wedding with Christ. Think of it this way: the only requirement to a marriage in a legal sense is a marriage contract, but why do so many couples go out of their way to prepare a wedding ceremony and reception?
That's because declarations are celebrations. Likewise, water baptism is the culmination of our marriage through Christ by membership into His body. That's a declaration we would like to make publicly and in the presence of others so as to have greater celebration.
Public declarations have an intrinsic effect upon our inner faith. What we declare publicly we start to internalize more. That's why water baptism actually has an effect on our spiritual growth.
1 Chronicles 16:24 tells us, "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" Declarations are powerful. What we declare we start living out more and more. When we declare our baptism into Christ through water, it works into our internal faith.
Water baptism is primarily a symbol. What does it symbolize? It stands for the burial and resurrection. Just as Christ was buried stained with our sin and risen glorified, we too are buried in water as we are baptized declaring that we now arise as new creation. Romans 6:4 tells us, "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 newness of life."
Symbolisms are powerful reminders of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and the implications it has over our natural and spiritual life.