What is Baptism?
Baptism is an one of the practices that Jesus submitted himself to and commanded his followers to practice. The early church in the book of Acts modeled baptism for us, showing that it has powerful significance to the one being baptized and as a statement of commitment to others. When a person is baptized he or she makes a declaration, or vow, to God, to themselves and, and to others, to wholeheartedly follow Jesus.
We like to schedule baptism celebration services, and our next one is June 3rd. If you have specific questions or just want to talk to someone about baptism, call the office at 224.569.9501, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to talk to you about this decision. Or you can fill out the card below to get started.
A Wedding Ceremony
Baptism is a vow or promise to God (see 1 Peter 3:21). It is a vow that moves us from a casual relationship with God (“I believe and love God”) into a formal committed relationship with him (“I will follow Jesus with all my heart forever”). Baptism is the believer’s spiritual wedding ceremony.
One of Jesus’ favorite pictures or metaphors of the church (those who follow Jesus) is that of a bride with Jesus being the groom. Baptism is the way the Bible instructs us to say our “vows” to Jesus. In the baptism ceremony, we often ask a person to affirm their vow with words like these: “I promise to follow Jesus with all my heart all the days of my life.” This promise or vow is similar in meaning to the vows made in a human marriage.
Why Water Baptism?
Why is baptism performed by complete immersion in water? Going into and coming out of the water is the best way to illustrate and symbolize the meaning of baptism described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1-7. It pictures a spiritual death, burial and resurrection.
We stand in the water of baptism and we make a promise to die to our old life and way of living. Going into the water symbolizes a death. Then we are buried for just a moment in the water. The spiritual death is complete. Coming out of the water symbolizes a new life with Jesus, who is both Savior and Lord of our life.
The new life does not mean that all of a sudden everything is different or perfect. Rather, we have chosen a new way and direction. We have made a promise to follow the way of Jesus. From that moment on we will live for Jesus.
who should be baptized?
Any child, teen or adult who is old enough to make a decision on his or her own to follow Jesus can be baptized. The key is that a person understands who Jesus is and what he did for us and is old enough to understand some of the implications of what it means to follow him. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to understand that Jesus is now in charge of your life and may require change in you as you follow him.
We do not believe that infants need to be baptized, as they are not able to make a heartfelt and rational choice to follow Jesus. We do offer a baby dedication service through which parents commit to raising their child to love God and learn about Jesus. Then, when a child is old enough, they can make their own decision to follow the way of Jesus.
Since baptism is like a spiritual wedding ceremony, we want to help our children be prepared and ready to make this commitment. To help parents and their children with this most significant decision, we offer resources to help parents discuss baptism with their children. Contact Pastor Ben for more info!
A common question asked is: “If I was baptized as an infant, should I be re-baptized?” We encourage adults to make a personal pledge to follow Jesus through the baptism ceremony. This act does not reject what your parents did for or to you.
If you were immersed as an adult in another church, you do not need to be re-baptized as long as you understood the commitment you made to follow Jesus. Sometimes a person chooses to be re-baptized because they have wandered from their faith or from God and want to re-commit to following Jesus. In such case, a re-baptism is a recommitment of faith and is similar to when a couple renew their wedding vows.