BAPTISM — A NEW LIFE
When the crowd asked Peter what they should do in response to his sermon, he gave them a three-fold answer: repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, 41) Thousands responded and were added to the fellowship of believers. The Biblical pattern is that everyone who is baptized is also added. Every baptized disciple is expected to become an active member of the local fellowship.
The Bible presents several illustrations to help us understand water baptism. Each of these pictures of water baptism shows the old life being put away and the new life emerging. In water baptism, we publicly identify with what Christ did for us on the cross, put away the old life of sin, and begin a new life of obedience to Christ.
Burial and Resurrection
Paul compares Christian baptism to a burial. In order to be buried, a person must first die. In the same way, the prerequisite for baptism is death to sin. After we are buried in baptism, then we are raised to live a new life. (Romans 6:1–4)