Believer's Baptism

 Virtually all Christian churches practice the rite of baptism. They do so because of Jesus’ command to go...and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt. 28:19

It is almost universally agreed that baptism is connected with the beginning of the Christian life; it is a type of initiation into the universal, invisible church or kingdom of God as well as the local visible church. It is the first step of obedience a new Believer can make out of humble gratitude to Christ.

Still, there is considerable disagreement among various church denominations concerning baptism. Baptists believe the following:

The Meaning of Believer’s Baptism
Most Baptist churches hold that baptism is an “outward expression of an inward change”. It is a symbolic act of obedience to Christ, identifying the Believer with their Lord, and giving testimony to the inner spiritual change that has taken place when the Believer put their faith, trust and hope in Christ.

Baptism serves as a public testimony that the Believer has been ‘born again’ (John 3:3). It is not a magical rite, nor does it produce any spiritual change in the one baptized; it is simply an act of obedience to Christ who commanded His followers be baptized.

Further, along with salvation, baptism is a requirement for membership into the local church. A candidate for baptism must demonstrate credible evidence of salvation and an intention to become involved in the life of the local church. Baptism can also be seen as a public commitment to Christ, to faithfully follow His commands and His teachings as found in the Bible.

Some churches believe that baptism initiates a person (often a baby) into the family of God and do not require any demonstration of faith or belief in God on the part of the person being baptized.

 The Symbol of Baptism
Because baptism is an outward expression of an inward change, it is highly symbolic. A symbol is a visible picture or representation of another idea or event.

Baptism:

  •  identifies the Believer with Christ’s death and resurrection. (Romans 6:4ff)
  •  gives testimony that you have died to any old way of life and become alive to a new life through Christ, i.e. be “born again” (John 3:3,
    1 Peter 1:23)
  •  is a promise and a commitment to God and to all those witnessing the event that you are committing your life to Christ for His use and to His Kingdom for all eternity.
  •  is a way of identifying with a local church and entering into a covenant-love relationship with a ‘body of Believers’. (Acts 2:41)

The Mode or Method of Baptism
The mode that best preserves and represents the meaning and symbolism inherent in baptism is immersion (completely submerging the candidate under the water) then raising them upright out of the water.

As Christ was laid in a tomb after His death, the new Believer is lowered under the water. And as Christ rose from the dead after three days, so too the Believer is raised upright out of the water to ‘walk in newness of life’.

Further, the predominant meaning of the Greek word for ‘baptize’ means “to dip or to plunge under water.” Even major theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin acknowledge immersion to be the basic meaning of the term and the original form of baptism as practiced by the early church.

Who Can Be Baptized
Throughout the New Testament only Believers were baptized. This means that baptism followed conversion (repentance from sin and confession of Jesus Christ as Lord).

 Evidence of babies being baptized in the Bible or New Testament church is nonexistent. Infant baptism became commonly practiced by churches who believe baptism imparts special merit or saving grace. Some churches felt that infants who died would be made acceptable to God in heaven if they were baptized. Many churches have adopted this tradition for baptism.

The conditions found in the Bible for baptism are 1) repentance of sin and 2) faith in Jesus Christ. This sequence is important: baptism following conversion. We call this “Believer’s Baptism”.

What if I have been Baptized as an Infant?
Biblical accounts of baptism show that people were only baptized following repentance and confession of Christ as Lord. We believe this sequence is not only descriptive, but prescriptive to the church. In fact, John the Baptist refused to baptize some people because their actions did not demonstrate their devotion to God. (Matthew 3:8)

Infants are baptized on the merit of their parent’s faith rather than their own. It is an initiatory rite where the infant is brought into the “family of faith” similar to baby dedication performed in other churches. However, biblical accounts of baptism demonstrate that each individual believed prior to being baptized. This would seem to preclude infants. When Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3), He was referring to simple trust, faith and humility not baptism.

After much reflection and study, some people determine that they would like to have Believer’s baptism even though they have been baptized already as a baby. They do so as an act of their own will and devotion to God and to demonstrate to God and others the transformation that has taken place in their life through the power of God. We can assist you with this decision should you feel this is right for you.

What If I was Baptized But I Really Didnt Know What I was Doing?
Occasionally people are baptized for the wrong reasons i.e. peer pressure, parental pressure, to obtain church membership, etc. instead of obedience to Christ. We believe that every Christian needs to honor God and be sincere and honest in their relationship and commitment to Him.

If you believe you did not fully understand the meaning of baptism or feel that your baptism was not done for the right reasons, you may want to consider being baptized again in order to solidify your commitment to Christ. If this is the case we would be pleased to talk with you about this decision to see if it is best. Remember, however, that baptism does not make you ‘more saved’ or impart any special grace to you, it is a demonstration of your willingness to follow Christ, and is a public confession of your commitment as a Believer. Sometimes rather than being ‘re-baptized’, a Christian may want to publicly dedicate their life to Christ and renew their commitment of love and obedience to Him. We can assist you with either of these decisions.

There is a Correct Order 
Repentance ---> Belief ---> Baptism

Baptism is a demonstration to others and to God that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life. If a person refuses to be baptized, they cannot rightfully claim that Christ is their Lord, because they refuse to obey His commands.

John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.

John 15:10, 14 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love…You are my friends if you do what I command”.

 I am interested in baptism, please contact me:

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