Baptism isn’t required for salvation, but it is the first step of faith for believers. The baptismal waters don’t save anyone. It’s Jesus that does that. Baptism is a picture of the work that Jesus has done in a person’s heart.
Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) It shows our new life as a follower of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Baptism doesn’t make you a believer… it shows that you already believe. Baptism doesn’t save you; Jesus does! Baptism is like a wedding ring, signifying a relationship rather than forming that relationship.
We follow Jesus’ example in baptism. He was baptized (Mark 1:9), and commanded us to be baptized (Matthew 28:19-20).
At Elim Church, we baptize by immersion. That’s the example we see throughout Scripture, and is the basis for the meaning of the word “baptize,” which means to immerse (or dip under) in water.