We believe that the ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus we declare to the world that we have died with Christ and that we also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
How Should I Prepare for Baptism?
- Come dressed in clothing that modestly covers your body. Be aware of how these clothes will look when wet. (We suggest dark colored pants/jeans and colored polos or t-shirts. No white t-shirts please). Wear a full set of undergarments.
- Bring something in which to put your wet clothing, a towel and other personal items for use after the baptism.
- Be prepared to give a short testimony of when and where you received Christ, and why you have decided to be baptized.
What Will Happen During Baptism?
- A pastor will invite you the water. It will be warmer than room temperature and 3-4 feet deep.
- There will be opportunity to introduce yourself and share a brief testimony.
- The pastor will ask for your response to the following questions (response in parentheses)
- Do you renounce Satan, all his works, and empty promises? (I do)
- Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth? (I do)
- Do you believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord? (I do)
- Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? (I do)
- The pastor will then say “I baptize you in the name of the father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
- The pastor will have you cross your arms in front of your chest. You will then fall back into the pastors arms, being completely submerged in the water, then you will stand up.
Why Should I be Baptized?
Jesus Commanded His followers to baptize new believers. In Matthew 28:19,20, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” Since these were the final instructions Jesus gave His disciples before He ascended to heaven, we know this is important. Water baptism is not an optional afterthought, but a vital step in the life of every person who has a relationship with Christ. Through baptism, we demonstrate that we identify with Him and are now a member of God’s family.
When Should I Be Baptized?
In scriptures such as Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47,48, it is evident that the act of water baptism came after an individual came to faith in Christ. Water baptism should be one of the first steps taken after committing your life to Christ. Even if you have been a follower of Christ for many years, but have not yet been baptized, it is still important to follow the Lord’s command to be baptized.
How Should I Be Water Baptized?
All examples of baptism in scripture were by immersion in water. Acts 8:36-39 states that “Philip went down into the water…” In the account of Jesus’ baptism in Mark 1, the scripture says, “And immediately coming up out of the water…” Baptism by immersion is the symbol of what happens spiritually to a believer. It signifies the complete death of our old nature as we go under the water, and the new life that is ours through the resurrection of Christ as we come up out of the water. Baptism by immersion is a picture of the complete cleansing of our sins. (Romans 6:4).
Can I Be Baptized More Than Once?
Sometimes people want to be baptized again, since a former baptism may not be remembered by a believer (baptized as a child), may have been prior to fully understanding baptism, or by some means other than immersion. In cases like these we are glad to baptize a believer again, affirming that other baptism.
Is Water Baptism Essential for Salvation?
Even though water baptism is a command given by Jesus to His disciples, just like His commandment for us to love one another, it does not determine our salvation. Our salvation is secured by the faith and belief in our hearts, not by an external work. The thief on the cross in Luke 23:39-43, is an example of someone who believed in Jesus but didn’t have the opportunity to be baptized. Jesus told him, “…today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” He was obviously going to heaven without being baptized. However, this does not excuse us from baptism. As we become aware of the commands in scripture, we are obligated to obey them as we have opportunity.
Water Baptism and Your Child
The symbolism of water baptism is an abstract concept that is sometimes difficult for young children to comprehend. Through conversation, try to discover if they are beginning to understand the concept of “Jesus in your heart” and the symbolism of baptism and communion.
It is true that none of us fully comprehend the depth of God and the power of His grace. We are saved by FAITH, not by our own works or understanding. Our children do, however, need to understand the basics of salvation before they make a public profession of faith through water baptism.
As a general rule, children do not understand the significance and symbolism of water baptism until they are seven or eight years of age. However, it is possible that some children may grasp this at an earlier age.
TO DETERMINE YOUR CHILD’S READINESS FOR WATER BAPTISM, ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING:
- Can they give an acceptable reason why they desire to be baptized?
- Do they demonstrate a genuine salvation experience?
- Do they grasp baptism’s significance?
A good readiness indicator is to ask your child, “Why do you want to be baptized?” A child who is ready for baptism will respond with an acceptable reason like, “I want to follow Jesus.” A child who is not ready would typically respond with an “I don’t know” or “my friends did” type of answer.
They need to be able to grasp the significance of their salvation experience. More than just hearing your child repeat a prayer, you should see some life change when Jesus really becomes their Savior and Lord.
Once your child can give an acceptable reason for wanting to be baptized, can comprehend its significance and you are confident they have a genuine salvation experience, then they may very well be ready.