To baptize is to wash or clean (perhaps by immersing or dipping into water) as a symbolic gesture signifying a repentance or commitment.
First, John the Baptist baptized people who repented of their sins, that is those who had remorse over their wrong actions (Mark 1:4-5).
Interestingly, Jesus (who was sinless – without fault) insisted that John baptize him prior to starting his ministry on earth (Matthew 3:13-17).
Later, Jesus had his disciples baptize his followers (John 4:2).
While John baptized with water, Jesus’ baptism was with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, and Matthew 3:11).
Key verse about Baptize: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11, NIV).
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.