WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
Baptism is a picture of Jesus’ burial and resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:3-4, “Christ died for our sins... He was buried... and He rose again.”
Colossians 2:12, “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”
Baptism is a picture of my new life as a Follower of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!”
Romans 6:4, “By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead... so also we may live a new life!”
Baptism does not make you a believer - it shows that you already believe!
Baptism does not "save" you! I become a follower of Jesus by (1) believing that Jesus is the Son of God, (2) asking Him to forgive me of my sins, and (3) asking Him to be my new master and leader.
Like a wedding ring – baptism is the outward symbol of the commitment you have already made in your heart.
Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith... it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.”
WHY DO WE DUNK PEOPLE?
When people were baptized in the Bible, they were dunked into and beneath the water. In fact, the Greek word, baptizo, actually means “to dip under water”! In addition, we “dunk” or immerse people because of the following two important reasons:
Because Jesus was baptized that way.
Matthew 3:16, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.”
Every baptism in the Bible was by dunking a person.
(Example) Acts 8:38-39, “...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Every person who has believed in Jesus and has committed to following Him.
Acts 2:41, “Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized…”
Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News… and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
Acts 8:13, “Simon himself believed and was baptized…”
Children should not be baptized until they are old enough to understand the true meaning of baptism.
Some churches practice a "baptism of confirmation" for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.
This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. We encourage you to be baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were "confirmed by baptism" as children.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
As soon as you have believed!
Acts 2:41, “Those who believe...were baptized...that day!"
Acts 8:35-38, “Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ´Look, here is water! Why shouldn´t I be baptized right now?´ Philip said, ´If you believe with all your heart, you may.´ The man answered, ´I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.´ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are "perfect", you’ll never feel "good enough"!
CAN MY FAMILY BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with our Children’s Director for a pre-baptism conversation.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?
We have a special baptism tee-shirt for you, our "Raised to Life" tee-shirts, that you will receive on the morning you come for your baptism. Please plan on wearing this for your baptism.
Women should wear dark shorts and men may wear a swim trunks.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet articles of clothing.
WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?
The person baptizing you may ask you several yes or no questions before baptizing you, such as “Name, have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to be the Master and Leader of your life?” Be prepared to answer honestly!
We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism (to assist you, complimentary invitation cards and matching envelopes are available).
WHAT IF I HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS?
Pastor Ken is available to perform private baptisms in special circumstances.