Have you ever thought about getting baptized but have too many unanswered questions? In this class we help you understand more about this significant step in your journey of following Jesus!
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BAPTIZED
I. WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
a. To follow the example set by Jesus
“Jesus… was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:9
b. Because Christ commands it.
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
c. It demonstrates that I really am a Christian
“Many… when they heard were believing and being baptized.” Acts 18:8
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” I John 2:3
II. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BAPTISM?
a. It illustrates Christ’s death and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised.” I Corinthians 15:3-4
“Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him.” Colossians 2:12
b. It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
“If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
III. WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
a. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“After being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water.” Matthew 3:16
b. Every baptism in the bible was by immersion.
(Example) “They both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38-39
c. The word “Baptize” means to immerse water.
The Greek word, baptize means, “to immerse or dip under water.”
d. It best symbolizes a death.
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther… “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin… “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.
John Wesley… “ ‘Buried with Him’ alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
IV. WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Every person who has believed in Christ.
“Those who had received his world were baptized.” Acts 2:41
“When they believed… they were being baptized.” Acts 8:13
“Simon himself believed; and after being baptized…” Acts 8:12
At Christ Alive, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.
At Christ Alive, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were “confirmed” as children.
V. WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
“Those who had received his word were baptized… that day.” Acts 2:41
“Philip… preached Jesus to him. And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ …They both went down into the water… and he baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel “good enough.”
Can my family be baptized together?
Yes! If each member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with an elder for a pre-baptism conversation.
It is important, however, to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting for other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
What should I wear when I am baptized?
Women should wear shorts and a top or a long shirt over a bathing suit. Men may wear a modest bathing suit. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?
It is not required. Some people enjoy sharing a short testimony of what Jesus means to them, others are shy. At the beginning of the service Pastor Bob or an elder will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait at the edge of the tank or pool. After you are introduced, you will be briefly lowered into the water. You can then stand off to the side as the others are being baptized. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
We can perform a private baptism in special circumstances.