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Son of God Bible Study: Rick Warren explains Jesus' baptism and your baptism

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Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption into the Christian church. The Gospels report that Jesus was baptized. Therefore, Christians believe they too should be baptized since they are followers of Jesus. In most churches, baptism is a sacrament and an ordinance of Jesus Christ.

The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed. Being totally immersed means to be submerged completely under the water. Being partially immersed means kneeling in water while water is poured on the candidate.

In his "Son of God Bible Study," Rick Warren explains the connection between Jesus' baptism and our own baptism.

We need to be baptized because Jesus demonstrated it by being baptized in the Jordan by John the Baptist. By His own baptism, Jesus was saying, "If you truly want to follow me, than you need to follow me into this water. If I need to do this, then so do you."

You need to be baptized because Jesus commanded it. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Therefore, baptism is not an option. It is a commandment for every follower of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy that baptism doesn't save anyone. It is an external expression letting the community know you have been adopted into the family of God. In other words, baptism is your public statement that you belong to Jesus Christ. Your baptism tells the world that you are not ashamed to be a follower of Jesus.

Baptism is a symbol of incorporation. According to Warren, "Your baptism says you are not just a believer, you're also a belonger."

Rick Warren, 60, is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, a Christian community that he and his wife began in their home in 1980, with just one other family. Today Saddleback is one of the most prominent churches in America with more than 20,000 members attending four campuses each week, reaching out through some 200 ministries. The well-known evangelical Christian leader rose to worldwide fame after publishing his wildly popular book, "The Purpose Driven Life," in 2002. To date, the title has sold more than 30 million copies, making it the top selling hardcover book of all time.

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