"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19
Who Should Be Baptized?
The Bible teaches that every individual who puts his or her trust in Jesus Christ for salvation should be baptized. There are many examples of this teaching. The people who heard Peter’s first sermon asked, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of
your sins. … Those who accepted this message were baptized. Acts 2:37—38, 41.
In the book of Acts, numerous other examples of baptism of believers are given. For example, “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
The Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved? … Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and all the others in his house … then immediately he and all his family were baptized.” Acts 16:30- 31, 33 “… many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8
CONCLUSION: These Biblical examples indicate that the person who has first repented of sin and trusted Jesus Christ as Savior should then be baptized. You must first be a believer in Jesus Christ to be eligible for baptism.
What is the Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism expresses our faith in Christ and our desire to identify with Him in His death, burial and resurrection. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We are 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 6:3-4
The lowering of a person into water symbolizes his or her identification with Christ in His death and burial. Similarly, raising that person from the water symbolizes identification with Christ in His resurrection and new life. “… having been buried with Him (Christ) in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him
from the dead. When you were dead in your sins … God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins …” Colossians 2:12-13
Baptism is not a “work” that makes you a Christian. Baptism is an expression of your personal faith in Christ’s forgiveness of your sins through His sacrificial death for you on the cross. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith … it is the gift of God—not by works …” Ephesians 2:8 & 9
What About Baptizing Children?
There is no record of anyone in the New Testament being baptized who did not personally request it. It is therefore appropriate to wait until a child is old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children, while others practice a similar “infant baptism” which is designed to symbolize the child’s pledge under God’s New Covenant in Jesus Christ. These customs began about 300 years after the Bible was completed and, while this “parental pledge” is a very meaningful event, it is not Christian Baptism. Only those who are intentionally and knowingly embracing Christ’s gift of salvation should experience baptism.
Should I Be Re-Baptized?
That depends on the significance of your first “baptism.” If you had actually trusted Christ as Savior prior to being baptized, there is no need ever to be re-baptized as a sort of second commitment to Him. But if your first “baptism” was as an infant, you were unable to personally declare your trust in Christ at the time. You should then give serious consideration to now being baptized as a believer.
CONCLUSION: The purpose of baptism is to publicly state your personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Therefore, everyone who is a believer in Jesus Christ should be baptized.
Why Be Baptized?
- Baptism is a step of obedience for every new believer, commanded by Jesus Himself.
“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.” Matthew 28:19
- Baptism provides an opportunity for every believer to publicly acknowledge his or her faith in Jesus Christ.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32
- Baptism allows us to follow Christ’s example.
“Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:9
CONCLUSION: While salvation is a free gift of God’s grace alone, baptism is an outward display of what has already occurred in a person’s heart. Taking the step of baptism demonstrates our obedience to Jesus Christ and our desire to identify with His death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins.
How Can I Be Baptized?
If you’re interested in being baptized, we invite you to speak with Pastor John or one of the Associate Pastors.
When are We to Be Baptized?
As soon as possible! The Bible indicates that baptism is one of the first steps a new believer takes. “As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is some water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?’ And he ordered the chariot to stop. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:36-38
It’s not unusual, however, for someone to discover the importance of baptism some time after they have professed faith in Jesus Christ. This person should make plans to be baptized at the first opportunity.