Water baptism is a practice that pre-dates Jesus! As people outside of the nation of Israel decided to convert to Judaism and follow the One True God, Yahweh, they would be baptized in water to complete that conversion to their new faith and their new dedication to the Lord God.
Thus, when John the Baptist is baptizing people in the Jordon River, and eventually baptizing Jesus in that same river, he is calling people to a renewed faith in God, and in particular trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus is then baptized by John the Baptist at the beginning of his ministry to announce the kingdom of God and its present reality.
While our relationship with God is not dependent upon water baptism, we see a pattern throughout the book of Acts. That pattern is individuals who decided to place their faith in Jesus would be baptized in water. Thus, water baptism is a practice that Jesus endorses, and further, that proclaims to the world and those present, that there is a newness of life in Jesus that you share with Him!
By declaring your trust in Jesus through water baptism, you'll be joining with multitudes of individuals throughout history who've placed their trust and have dedicated their lives to following the One True God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Baptism is a picture of Jesus' burial and resurrection.
Baptism is a picture of my new life as a follower of Jesus.
Baptism does not make you a believer - it shows that you already believe!
Baptism does not "save" you! I become a follower of Jesus by (1) believing that Jesus is the Son of God, (2) asking Him to forgive me of my sins, and (3) asking Him to be my new master and leader and (4) following Him for the remainder of my life.
Like a wedding ring – baptism is the outward symbol of the commitment you have already made in your heart.
As you can see, the picture of being buried is present in baptism. You are buried under the water (don't worry, for a short bit), and then raised out of the water. This is a picture of the new resurrection life you share with Christ. Just as he was buried, so also you've been buried. And just as He was raised to life, so also, are you raised to new life!
When people were baptized in the Bible, they were dunked into and beneath the water. In fact, the Greek word, baptizo, actually means “to dip under water”. In addition, we “dunk” or immerse people because of the additional two important reasons:
(1) Jesus was baptized by being completely submerged under water.
(2) Every baptism recorded in the Scriptures was by dunking a person completely under water.
Every person who has believed in Jesus and has committed to following Him.
As soon as you have believed!
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"! If you're ready, just let us know and we'll get a water baptism scheduled.
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 is recorded as only for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. We encourage you to be baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were "confirmed by baptism" as children.
Yes! If each family 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. However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. Baptism is for those who can articulate their faith and trust in the Savior, Jesus.
We have a special baptism tee-shirt for you, our "Raised to Life" tee-shirts, that you will receive on the morning you come for your baptism. Please plan on wearing this for your baptism. Please also wear dark shorts or swim trunks.
Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet articles of clothing. If you bring some family and friends to celebrate with you, that’s totally cool too! If you need help, we will provide postcards and stamps to help you spread the word about your big decision!
If you'd like to share some of your story, then yes! Work with a pastor to be prepared to share something before your baptism. If you'd rather not, that's fine too! The person baptizing you may ask you a few yes or no questions before baptizing you, such as “Have you committed to following Jesus?” Be prepared to answer honestly!