Please note that we have a online bible under "links and more" to check out the verses below:
We believe Baptism is an important step in our relationship with God. Baptism does not make me a Christian but it marks me as a Christian.
Baptism is commanded by Jesus. Matthew 28:18-19 says; And Jesus came and said to them, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Other verses that support this are Mark 16:15, Acts 10:48, John 15:15.
Jesus commended baptism to us by his example of being baptised himself. (Matt 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11 and Luke 3:21-22). Baptism was the common practice of Christians in the early New Testament church. It followed their conversion to God: Acts 2:41 tells us that 3000 people were baptized having accepted the message of salvation that Peter had spoken. (See Acts 2 and Acts 8:35-38, Acts 9:18, Acts 10:43-48, Acts 16:14-15, Acts 16:30-34 and Acts 18:8).
Baptism is my confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and it identifies me with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. My confession of Christ needs to be made by words and actions. (See Romans 10:9 and 6:4).
When we go down into the water it represents the death of our old life. When we come up out of the water, it represents being raised from the dead and having a new life. Romans 6:4 says, We were therefore buried with him through baptism unto death in order that, just as Christ was raised form the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a New Life.
Baptism is the visible, outward and public expression of my inward and private decision to follow Christ. Baptism is a challenge to live a Godly life; we are no longer our own but the dwelling place of God made in His image. Therefore we are to reflect him through the way we live. (See Romans 6:13, 1 Cor. 6:19-20 and 2 Cor. 3:17-18). When you read the account of people in the New Testament being baptized, it shows that faith in Christ/God was the prerequisite of baptism.
Baptism should occur in a persons life when they have committed their life to Christ, they desire to follow Him, obey Him and live for Him. Therefore the test of when should someone be baptized needs to be based on belief, not on age.
(Adapted from Answering your questions on Baptism by Colin Graham.)