Baptism refers to a person’s being submerged in water and coming up out of it. That explains why Jesus was baptized in a sizable river. (Matthew 3:13, 16) Likewise, an Ethiopian man asked to be baptized when coming to “a body of water.”—Acts 8:36-40.
The Meaning of Baptism
The Bible compares baptism to burial. (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Water baptism symbolizes a person’s dying to his past course of life and beginning a new one as a Christian dedicated to God. Baptism and the steps that lead up to it are God’s arrangement for a person to gain a clean conscience based on his faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21) Thus, Jesus taught that his disciples must get baptized.—Matthew 28:19, 20.