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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7908 baptism, significance of
7908 baptism, significance of

7908 baptism, significance of

The NT uses a variety of images to explain the meaning of baptism, such as dying and rising with Christ, sharing in his death and being cleansed from sin.

Baptism is a symbol of the death of Jesus Christ

Lk 12:50 Jesus Christ described his death as a baptism or a flood overwhelming him. See also Ps 42:7; Ps 69:1-2; Ps 88:7; Mk 10:38-39

Baptism is a symbol of the burial of Jesus Christ

Ro 6:3-4 Immersion in water symbolises how the old sinful life is buried with Christ. Dying to sin and sharing Jesus Christ’s sufferings, symbolised by baptism, is a lifelong process: Ro 8:13; Col 3:5

Baptism is a symbol of being saved from the flood

1Pe 3:21 The flood/baptism symbolises both judgment (the death of sinners and the death of Jesus Christ) and salvation (those in the ark and those in Christ passing safely through judgment). See also Ge 7:6-7

Baptism is the gospel equivalent of circumcision

Col 2:11-12 The “circumcision in Christ” may refer either to his death on the cross or to baptism. See also Dt 10:16

Baptism recalls the exodus

1Co 10:1-2 In and through the exodus experience Israel was united with and obedient to Moses, as Jesus Christ’s people are to him. See also Ex 14:19-24

Baptism symbolises washing from sin

Ac 22:16 Baptism is an outward sign of cleansing from sin and from a defiled life and conscience. See also 1Co 6:11; Tit 3:5; 1Pe 3:21

Baptism is a symbol of putting on Christ

Gal 3:27 Baptism is seen as putting on Christ, as one might put on a coat or garment, and thus be “clothed with Christ”.

Baptism as a symbol of unity

Eph 4:5 See also 1Co 12:13

See also

2410cross, the
2530Christ, death of
6029sin, forgiveness
6754union with Christ
7221exodus, the
7336circumcision, spiritual

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