The first reason to be baptized is because Jesus Christ commanded it. In the first book of the New Testament, Matthew 28:18-20, a passage we refer to as the “great commission,” Jesus included baptism. Here’s what He said:
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Why would he do that? He included baptism because it is a vital part of our development as Christ-followers.
That brings us to the second reason to be baptized — identification. Baptism is the only public practice of identification with Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Simply stated, baptism is a symbol of our death to sin, of our breaking away from its control, and of our desire to live a new life with God’s help. Through baptism we are declaring the fact that we belong to Jesus Christ and are planning to live our life to please Him. Here is how the Bible explains it:
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was. Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.