What is Baptism?
Every time a person enters into a new life with Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that all of heaven rejoices. Baptism is an outward proclamation of an inward reality that God has created new life within that person. Baptism is the new believer’s testimony to the public of his/her belonging to Jesus. As he/she is immersed beneath the waters, he/she is proclaiming that his/her old self, that was enslaved to unbelief and sin, has died. And as the believer is raised up out of the waters, he/she is proclaiming that his/her new self, now freed from sin and death, has been raised in the resurrection of Jesus. He/She is proclaiming that he/she now belongs to Jesus. (See Romans 6:1-10)
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
Why do we baptize?
We baptize because Jesus modeled it himself and made it part of His ministry and part of our mission. Simply put, we baptize because Jesus commanded us to; however, there is also purpose and wisdom in that command. Baptism provides a decisive, public way of taking a stand that Jesus has saved you, that you’re crazy about Him, and that you’re going to follow Him all the days of your life.
Essentially, you are publicly proclaiming three things in Baptism:
Thank You for saving me. I’m Yours. Help me to live a life that shows Jesus to the world.
Celebrate with me! Jesus has saved me! Remember when He saved you? Encourage me, help me, and keep me accountable to following Jesus.
I want you to know the Jesus that I know. If you see any change in my life, if you see anything good in my life, it’s not me- it’s Him! He wants you to know Him.
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
How is baptism done?
We believe that a physical submersion into the water is the best way to show the death and burial of the old self and that a physical emersion from the water best represents the new self being raised from the dead. However, we are willing to use pouring or sprinkling methods of baptism for those with physical limitations.
Why get baptized?
Baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ. It signifies that his or her former way of life has been put to death and depicts the raising up of a new life committed to following Christ.
Does baptism save you? Will being baptized get me to heaven?
We are saved solely by God’s grace applied to us by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Nothing we do can save us… our salvation is not a result of our works. We are, however, called to do good works and obey the commands of Jesus, baptism being one of them. So like all the other “good works,” we baptize and are baptized not in order to be saved, but because we are saved. Just because a Christian is not yet baptized doesn’t mean he isn’t a Christian.
Baptism is an outward demonstration of what has already occurred inside of us. Though baptism doesn’t save you, God is pleased when His child proclaims to the world that the salvation of Christ has come into his life.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10