“Baptism”, a word that derives from the Greek word, baptizo, means so much. Baptizo, in Greek, means “to immerse,” yet Romans 6 brings baptizo to life so much more. For instance, in verse 3, where Paul asks the question: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” The sin of all mankind (my sin, your sin, our sin) was upon Jesus, the only person to live a perfect and pure life, while on that cross. The imagery of this is realized in the ugliness, brutality, harshness of the crucifixion. Paul states that to be a Christian, or Christ-like, we need to be “buried with Him.” We couldn’t do this physically because there would be no one left to teach the Gospel, so God, in His infinite wisdom, established baptizo, immersion. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism (immersion) into death…” Why, and how, does this work? Verse 5: “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
“But, it’s just water. Why does it matter? It shouldn’t be that important,” is a comment you may hear. Saying this is the equivalent of saying that a wedding ring has no true value because it’s only metal, or that a $100 bill has no value because it is only threads held together to make a piece of paper. God uses baptism to help us realize what we are doing in committing our life to Christ and being a servant to God. When we buy something with a $100 bill, we recognize that we are not merely handing over some artwork made out of red and blue thread. We know we are giving up something of value to get something else. When we give a wedding ring to our spouse, we are giving something of value, precious metal, and a life on our own to gain a life lived with that special someone that we can share. When we are immersed in baptism, we are not simply being dunked in water. We are contacting the redeeming blood of Christ to submit ourselves to His will instead of our own. It’s an amazing thought to see God’s infinite wisdom through the redeeming act of baptism.