What is The Meaning of Baptism?
The word “baptism” is simply a transliteration of the Greek word, baptisma, and some related words which have the meaning of dipping or immersing. Since the object dipped or immersed became totally identified with the substance in which it was placed, the idea of identification is central to the meaning of baptism. Jesus’ baptism by John publicly identified Him who was sinless with sinners in anticipation of His death and resurrection as their sin-bearer. In that sense, He referred to His own impending death as a “baptism” which He had to undergo (Mark 10:38-39; Luke 12:50). For us baptism symbolizes our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection; our identification with Christ’s church; and, our cleansing from sin.
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