There are three different ways the word “baptism” is used in the New Testament. Two out of three of these are metaphorical. The first of these is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which took place on the day of Pentecost and again when Cornelius and his household believed. The second sense is its use of the destruction which would come upon the nation of Israel because of their rejection of Christ (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16).
The primary usage of baptism in the New Testament is that of dipping or immersion. When it was used in regards to Christian baptism, it symbolized an immersion in water. This is attested by the eunuch’s experience in Acts 8:36-39 and in the figures used in 1 Peter 3:21 and 1 Corinthians 10:2. Paul spoke of being buried in baptism in Romans 6:3-7 and Colossians 2:12. Thus, baptism is immersion as opposed to sprinkling or pouring.
In order to be pleasing to God, we are commanded to be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16). Few people in the denominational world would disagree. However, there is great disagreement as to the reason for baptism. Acts 2:38 says it is for the “remission of sins” but Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 elaborate upon that statement by saying that baptism saves us. We are saved by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5). The only way to come in contact with that blood is by being baptized. That is why baptism is essential to our salvation. If you want to learn more about the New Testament scriptures, please be our guest at any of our assemblies.