What is Baptism?

A MOVE FROM DEATH TO LIFE

Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. “Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive - right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant cancelled and nailed to Christ’s cross.” Colossians 2:12-14 MSG


THE BEGINNING OF A BRAND NEW JOURNEY

Following Christ is a journey - an adventure! The journey doesn’t begin with perfection, rather it begins with obedience. Baptism is a symbol of the start your new life as a Christian. We bury the ‘old life’ and we rise to walk in a ‘new life.’ Like a wedding ring, it is the outward symbol of a commitment you make in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis.

Why Be Baptized?

Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not ‘save’ you; only your faith in Christ does that. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9


AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE

Water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV


A PUBLIC DECLARATION

Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life. Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved...” Mark 16:16a MSG


FOLLOWING CHRIST

Jesus himself was baptized. He was not a sinner, yet he humbled himself in obedience to identify with us and give us an example to follow. At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Mark 1:9 MSG

How Are We to Be Baptized?

Baptism is like a birthday - it celebrates your spiritual birthday. So invite your family and friends to celebrate with you! The recommended mode of baptism, as per the example of Jesus, is by being immersed in water. The word “baptize” comes from a Greek word which means “to immerse or dip under water.” Sprinkling is also an acceptable means. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16. “...then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water....” Acts 8:38,39. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 ESV


A NEW FAMILY

Baptism also connects us to the ‘body of Christ’, his people in the earth. In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey. “...For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body...” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Who Should Be Baptized?

Have you received Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If you have, then you are ready. If you haven’t or you are unsure that you have, take some time consider and please speak with a pastor, friend or other trusted Christian who can provide you with sound guidance in the matter. Because baptism is a representation of one’s faith, we encourage parents to consider infant dedication in lieu of baptism until such a time as their child is ready to make their own profession of faith. If you have questions about the difference between baptism and dedication, please see a pastor. For those baptized as infants, we encourage you to consider one of two options: affirm the vows taken by your parents or participate in a believer's baptism should the Lord call you to it . If you have previously participated in a believer’s baptism, you do not need to be re-baptized. If you are having trouble deciding if you should be baptized, answer this question: 


“Are you a baptized Christian?” 


If your answer is a confident “Yes!” then stand firm in your faith and move forward in maturity, holiness and mission (see Hebrews 6:1). If your answer is no or you are unsure after seeking counsel, be baptized!