These days, churches have many different views about baptism. Immersion, sprinkling, baptismal pools, lakes, ponds, immediately following conversion, the next month, whenever … it can all be pretty confusing. Our desire is to be clear about what we believe regarding water baptism and to identify the places in scripture that lead us to our conclusions. Baptism in water is a beautiful experience that expresses a person’s profession of faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
A complete teaching on the importance and procedure of baptism would take longer than we have on these few pages, however we’ll do our best to fill you in on some of the basics by answering some ‘frequently asked questions’.
— Is baptism necessary for salvation?
No! Baptism alone won’t save us. Confessing your sins to God and proclaiming Jesus as your Lord and Savior are what get you into Heaven. We’re saved by the blood of Jesus, and faith in His death burial and resurrection. But remember, EVEN JESUS WAS BAPTIZED; so we should be too. Baptism is simply the next step in your Christian faith. Getting baptized is like wearing a wedding ring–it’s the outside symbol of the commitment you made in your heart. (Romans 10:9)
— Why is baptism necessary for me?
First and foremost, baptism is biblical. It is a significant practice of those who began their walk with Christ in the New Testament. It is associated with a person’s choice to believe Christ and pursue him with all their heart.
— Why should I be baptized by immersion?
We baptize in water by immersion because it is clearly the method used in the New Testament.
— Should my infant or toddler be baptized?
We have met people who have been baptized as infants or who would like for their young children to be baptized. It’s exciting to us to realize a parent’s desire to place their children on a course towards spiritual maturity. However, we believe that infant baptism is different than believer’s baptism.
We practice what is known as ‘child dedication’ where children are dedicated by their parent(s) unto the Lord. This is also a time when we challenge the mother and/or father to publicly commit themselves to raise their child in the nurture and teaching of Christ. This is similar to ‘infant baptism’ but without the sprinkling of water. We hold these ‘baby dedications’ a couple of times throughout the year.
— At what point should a person be baptized?
We have water baptisms several times throughout the year. When a person has come to Christ, one of a couple next steps is baptism. Although we do not believe baptism to be mandatory for salvation, we do consider it essential to a public profession of your faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. A person should be baptized upon repentance and acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Here are a number of scriptures to study further on the subject of water baptism:
Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-10; John 3:22-23; Acts 8:36-38
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