What does it mean to be baptized?
Water Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Water Baptism identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Baptism symbolically points to being buried with Christ - immersed under water. That is, putting to death the old life and sinful nature and being raised to a new life - raised out of the water (Colossians 2:11-12). “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 6:4).
Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance, which simply means “change.” It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him. "Peter replied, 'Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church--about three thousand in all” (Acts 2:38, 41 - NLT).
Water Baptism is a public testimony - the outward confession of an inward commitment. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord. Jesus calls believers in Matthew 28 to make disciples and baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way, and identification with God’s people.