Baptism is an important and meaningful step for every believer as a celebration of our new faith in Christ. To learn more, contact us or read more below.
Sunday, December 10
On the Courtyard
What is baptism?
Baptism can be summarized by the following:
- Baptism is a symbol of our identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the cross, He took our sin as His own, died, was buried and rose from the dead. Baptism symbolizes that by placing our faith in Christ's death and resurrection, we now have a new life as if we ourselves died and rose. Romans 6:4 (ESV): "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."
- Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing our new relationship and faith in Jesus christ as our Lord and Savior. Matthew 28:19 (ESV): "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
- Baptism does not add to our salvation, nor is it necessary for our salvation. It is simply a symbol. When the thief on the cross placed his faith in Jesus, He told the thief in Luke 23:43 (ESV): "...truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Baptism does not save you any more than a wedding ring makes you married. As a wedding ring is a symbol of your vows, so baptism is a symbol of your commitment to Jesus Christ.
- Baptism is a public testimony of our faith in Jesus Christ and of your membership in the Body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (ESV): "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body..."
Who may be baptized?
Any person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and as the only means of eternal life may be baptized (acts 2:41; 8:12; 18:8). This means they recognize that their sin has separated them from a relationship with God, but that the death and resurrection of Jesus takes away that barrier.
The moment they place their faith in Jesus Christ's free gift as the only payment for their sins, they are forgiven and they become a child of God. John 1:12 (ESV): "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV): "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Children who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and are able to understand baptism's symbolism and meaning are encouraged to be baptized. We have found that most children at least 7-years-old are able to understand.
A word concerning infant baptism...
If the purpose of baptism is to publicly identify as a believer in Jesus Christ, you may be asking yourself, "What is the significance of my baptism as an infant?" In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for salvation.
Through we do not baptize infants, we encourage parents to dedicate their baby to the Lord. Learn more here if you are interested in dedicating your child. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents' wishes.
Why is baptism by immersion?
The word "baptize" found in the Bible literally means "to dip; to immerse." Not only was baptism by immersion preached by the early church (Acts 8:36-39), but also when Jesus was baptized, He was immersed (Matthew 3:16). Immersion also paints the best picture of our identification with Christ as the believer is "buried with Him in baptism" and "raised up with Him through faith" (Colossians 2:12). When believers are immersed in water, they identify with Christ in His death. When they arise out of the water, they are symbolizing their faith in His resurrection.
When are baptism services?
Baptism celebrations occur monthly during our weekend services and may also be scheduled at other special times. This allows for life change to be celebrated frequently with family, friends and the body of believers present. We encourage you to invite your family and friends to attend your baptism.
How shall I prepare for the baptism?
We ask that every person go through an orientation in preparation for baptism. Questions will be answered during this class and an opportunity given for you to share you story about your faith in Jesus Christ.
What shall I wear?
We ask that you wear a dark shirt, pants/shorts and slip-off shoes or sandals. Clothing made of material that retains minimum amounts of water is recommended. Wear clothing that will be modest when wet. Please wear these clothes to the service and bring a change of clothing and a dry towel for afterwards.
May I invite family and friends?
Absolutely! We highly encourage you to invite your family and friends to attend your baptism. This will give them an opportunity to hear your (and others') testimony of salvation found in Jesus Christ and may also be an encouragement for them to place their own faith in Christ. We will reserve special seating for your guests in the front of the auditorium (please let us know ahead of time with an approximate number).
We encourage every person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ to be baptized and not wait. You do not have to be baptized to have Christ in your heart, but if you've made a commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation, then your Baptism should be as valued and visible as the ring on a newlywed's finger.
Contact Pastor Jeff Holmes.