Question:

I was baptized when I was eleven years old (I am sixteen right now), but I am not sure that I completely understood what the purpose of baptism was. It was my choice to be baptized, but at that age I was aware that baptism brings me to God, but I was not aware that baptism was required to wash away my sins (Acts 2:38). Do I need to be baptized again because I did not fully understand the purpose of baptism when I was baptized?

Thank you so much for your answer, Mr. Hamilton.


Answer:

Baptism serves a number of purposes. It washes away sin (Acts 22:16) because it brings you into covenant with Jesus Christ. "In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:11-13). The covenant is entered by a symbolic participation with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection. At the same time it represents the believer's death to sin and a resurrection to a new life. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7).

Full understanding all that goes on with baptism isn't required to become a Christian, but there should be enough there to say that you knew what you were doing. Hence, this will come down to your confidence in what you did. Typically, I tell people who are not certain that it is better to be certain than go through life questioning yourself.

But also, I would like to note that often this question comes up because a person got caught once again in the trap of sin and they want to have another fresh start. If that is your problem, I want you to read I John 1:8-2:1 again. Sin is going to happen, but Christians have the privilege of going to God in prayer, asking for forgiveness and receiving forgiveness.