Biblical Roots of Baptism

Christian baptism has its origins in the various Jewish rites of ritual purification and in John’s baptism of repentance. Christian baptism differs from its antecedents, however, in important respects. It is baptism in the name of Jesus, signifying belonging to him, and is associated with the gifting of the Holy Spirit. Baptism symbolizes participation in Christ’s death and resurrection and the believer’s incorporation into the new covenant people of God. The New Testament does not lay out a specified order for the rite of baptism.

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