If you’ve professed Jesus as Lord, this is your next step. It’s going public with something you believe. This is your opportunity to shout to the world that your life has changed!
Baptism is sometimes misunderstood. Maybe you even have some questions about what it is and what it’s not. Here are five things we believe to be true about baptism.
1. Baptism symbolizes Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Therefore we were buried with Him [Jesus] through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4
As you go under the water you’re symbolizing Christ’s death. When you come out of the water you’re symbolizing His resurrection. It’s an incredible symbol of victory over death! It’s also a beautiful picture of how Christ’s blood cleanses and washes our sins away (1 John 1:9).
2. Baptism allows us to follow Christ’s example and become more like Christ.
When He [Jesus] had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17
Jesus Himself was baptized. When He was baptized, we see that God the Father spoke from Heaven and identified Jesus as being different from anyone else when He said: “This is My beloved Son.” God was making it abundantly clear to everyone that Jesus wasn’t just an ordinary man, but that He was the Son of God who came to live a sinless life and die on the cross for humanity.
When we chose to surrender to Christ and trust Him for salvation, we become part of the family of God (John 1:12). When we get baptized, we are professing publicly what we have come to believe inwardly. Through baptism, we demonstrate that we have been set apart as no longer an ordinary person, but a person who has been ransomed by the blood of Christ and is now called to live according to God’s purpose.
3. Baptism shows reliance upon the local church and willing submission to the authority of the local church.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. – 1 Corinthians 12:13
By getting baptized in front of a body of believers, you are publicly communicating your new relationship with God through Jesus. This proclaims that you are a new creation and that God has changed your life. In doing so, you are also asking the church to come alongside you and teach you the Word of God, surround you with fellow believers, and give you opportunities to serve. In so doing, you are also submitting yourself to the authority of the local church, which is charged with helping fellow followers of Jesus to speak truth and grace into each other’s lives (Ephesians 4:15).
4. True Biblical baptism is done by full immersion.
The word baptize means to immerse in water. The Greek word baptizo is literally translated “to dip or immerse, to plunge or sink into.” (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: by William F. Arndt & F. Wilbur Gingrich; University of Chicago Press, 1952).
Not only was Jesus baptized by full immersion (Matthew 3:16, “Jesus came up immediately from the water”) but so was every other person who was baptized in the New Testament.
5. Infant baptism is something that was never recorded in Scripture.
Some churches practice “baptism of confirmation” for infants. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. This is different from the baptism taught in the Bible which was only for those old enough to sincerely believe. The purpose of baptism is to publicly confess a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.