The symbolism of believer’s baptism

Believer’s baptism is highly symbolic:

  1. It signifies the end of the old life and the start of the new life as a Christian believer.
  2. It identifies with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote about baptism and used the symbolic image of death, burial and resurrection:

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Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:3-4

Descending the baptistery steps into the water identifies with Christ’s death. The candidate is then totally immersed under the water. He or she has ‘died’ to their former sinful way of life. Christ also died and was buried.

God raised Jesus to life on the third day. This is symbolised in believer’s baptism by the candidate coming up out of the water. He or she now has a new life with Christ.

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Baptists believe that only baptism by full immersion can identify with death, burial and resurrection in this way.