Baptism is one of those Christian terms that is used often and consequently can lose its importance and meaning. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/baptism baptism is –
1a : a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community b : a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification c Christian Science : purification by or submergence in Spirit 2 : an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is purified, sanctified, initiated, or named
While this definition is accurate it doesn’t address the more important question of why it matters.
There is a lot of discussion around the topic of baptism and the “right or wrong” way it should be done. Believe me I know this first hand. My wife having been raised Baptist is a supporter of immersion. Me having been baptized as an infant through sprinkling, don’t see anything reason this method isn’t as valid. I think the living out our baptism is what matters.
I think the why it matters question is answered well by Crosswalk https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/baptism-what-is-it-meaning-and-definition.html.
What is Baptism?
“Baptism is an outward act that symbolizes the inward phenomenon of coming to and accepting Jesus Christ as real, as God incarnate, as the sacrificial means by which those who believe in him can be forever reconciled to God. The purpose of baptism is to give visual testimony of our commitment to Christ. It is the first step of discipleship (Acts 8:26-39). Baptism is like a wedding ring. We put on a wedding ring as a symbol of our commitment and devotion. In the same way baptism is a picture of devotion and commitment to Christ. A wedding ring reminds us and tells others that we belong to someone special. In the same way, baptism reminds us and others that we are devoted to Christ and belong to Him.”
We can live a good, constructive, happy life without being baptized, but there is so much more to be had if we commit fully to a relationship with Christ.
Baptism is the symbolic action we take to show our being washed clean of our sins. The water washes away our “old, dead, heavy, suffocating life” and is replaced with a “new, fresh purposeful one”. Once we’re baptized we won’t be perfect, but we will belong to God. Pastor Lee told about Sam Houston’s baptism. It is believed that General Houston had lead a rough and wild life so it no surprise that after being baptized when the Pastor said, “Your sins are washed away”, that it is said that Houston replied, “God save the fishes!” http://www.wadeburleson.org/2009/12/baptism-of-general-sam-houston-by-rufus.html
Luke 3:21-22 tells about Jesus’ baptism. If baptism is important enough for Jesus to do then I think “Baptism Matters”…a great deal.