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What Does Baptism Mean?
The Bible contains commands to be baptized (Acts 2:38). For this reason, it’s easy to understand why many see baptism as something we must do. Unfortunately, this emphasis can lead to missing out on the beauty of this gift.
This washing is a miraculous work of God. “He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). We are merely passive participants (Romans 6:3–4). Being baptized is no more a ‘work’ than reading the Bible. The Spirit actively works faith through both.
A promise is made at baptism—but not by us. In baptism, God forgives your sins (Acts 2:38), adopts you as his child, and covers you with Christ (Galatians 3:26–27). God makes us “heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
While a person is not condemned for not being baptized (Mark 16:16), this tremendous gift provides personal relief and confidence. In baptism, God says, “I love you, I forgive you, and I have made you my own.” No wonder God wants us to be baptized and to share this gift with others!
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