Baptism is a funeral with a difference. Unlike a normal funeral there is also a resurrection (Romans 6:3-9). Baptism involves a declaration of our repentance from sin and of faith in Jesus as our Lord (Acts 2:38). It is the beginning of a new life of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20). In baptism we surrender to Jesus as the Lord of our life. It is the burial of our old life with its sinful nature and is our resurrection to a brand new life (Romans 6:3-4, Acts 22:16). We are now able to live the risen life of Jesus Christ himself in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism not only has a ‘vertical affect’ toward God; it also has a ‘horizontal affect’ towards other Christians. We are not only baptised into Christ but also into church. This means that we are no longer to live independent lives. We belong to a new family, the people of God (1Peter 2:9-10). Baptism means things will never be the same again; the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).