Baptism, with Communion, is one of two official ‘ceremonies’ or ordinances. Baptism accompanies salvation. Genuine salvation, and therefore genuine baptism, occurs only once in a person’s life. If one receives baptism and is not saved, that person is under God’s wrath during the ceremony. Neither the water nor the ceremony saves, and that baptism means nothing. If that person is later saved, he must receive baptism.
A new believer’s saving faith makes a baptism legitimate. A believer who totally believes and trusts that Christ died to eradicate the penalty of his sins and has given him a new, sin-hating, God-adoring, obedience-loving nature by the indwelling of The Person of the Holy Spirit must receive baptism as soon as possible.
Baptism involves a clear testimony and total immersion in water. A personal account testifies to how Christ has irrevocably changed one’s life. Total immersion pictures how Christ has forever disposed of one’s old way of thinking, willing, desiring and acting and replaced them with God-honoring ones. Total immersion may occur in a lake, stream or in a baptistery. A willingness to receive baptism accompanies salvation. A person who refuses or has a desire to delay baptism may not be a Christian.