Baptism - Sunday, November 6, during our Sunday morning celebration services.
If you acknowledge Jesus as Savior & Lord and would like to be baptized, or discuss it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740.393.0880. Keep reading for more information about the significance and details of baptism.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED? To follow the example set by Jesus. "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river" (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22). Because Jesus commanded it. "Jesus said, 'Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you'" (Matthew 28:19-20). It demonstrates that I really am a Believer. "We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands," (I John 2:3). It is a public declaration of your love for Jesus and desire to follow Him as a committed disciple.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM? It illustrates Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. "Christ died for our sins… He was buried... and He rose again" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). "For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ". (Colossians 2:12) It illustrates my new life as a Christian. "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 that we may live a new life!" (Romans 6:4). "When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Baptism doesn't make you a Christian. Only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring - it's the outward sign of the commitment you have made in your heart (see Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a sacrament, or sacred symbol; a physical/public expression of something that has already happened in your heart - your decision to accept Jesus’ forgiveness for your sins through His death on the cross, and become a disciple of His. The act of baptism is not what grants forgiveness or cleansing, or what ‘saves’ you - the work has already been done by God through the Holy Spirit in your heart and mind. When we are dipped/immersed in water, it symbolizes the cleansing of our sins, as well as dying to our old life of sin and selfishness, and being put in the grave. When we are lifted out, it symbolizes our new life in Jesus - our commitment to Him as Leader of our life.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED? Every person who has believed in Christ. A believer is someone who has realized that their sin separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ's death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13).
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED? As soon as you have believed. "Those who believed were baptized that day!" (Acts 2:41). "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"' (Acts 8:35-38).
DOES THIS MEAN IT HAS TO BE IMMEDIATELY? No, the principle is that baptism should follow soon after your decision to become a believer. There is no reason to delay. It you wait until you are "good" enough, you will never feel ready for baptism.
OTHER PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE THAT REFER TO WATER BAPTISM: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Acts 16:31-34, John 3:22-23, Acts 10:47-48
WHAT DO I WEAR AND BRING? Dress in clothes you don't mind getting wet! Feel free to wear either dark shorts or jeans. Women should wear thicker and darker shirts. You will likely want to bring a change of clothes to wear home. You are welcomed to change in the church (unless we are at the river☺). If it is a river baptism, you will want to wear old shoes or water shoes. You will also want to bring a towel.
HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK? WHAT WILL HAPPEN? A pastor will be in the baptism tub at the front on the worship center (or the river). You walk up the steps and down into the tub (or into the river) to join him/her. In your own words, share briefly your story/testimony of accepting the love and grace of God and your commitment to follow Jesus for life. Baptism is the public profession of your faith in Christ. These brief testimonies play a significant and meaningful role, as other believers are encouraged and seekers are challenged by the spiritual journey of others. We encourage writing this out and reading it, or at least having an outline/bullet-points written down. The pastor will then dip you into the water and quickly raise you out of the water. After this, often someone will pray for you. You’ll then exit the tub (river), and (if desired) leave to dry off and change clothes.
HOW DO I SIGN UP, OR WHAT IF I HAVE FURTHER QUESTIONS? Contact the New Life office at 740.393.0880 or email@example.com