BAPTISM

baptism 6

 

Thank you for your interest in Water Baptism here at Purpose Life.  Jesus established water baptism as a commitment opportunity for believers when He gave the Great Commission message in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16. Water Baptism is far more than a ritual or religious exercise. It is not only our personal choice, but it's a command for us as believers.

Water Baptism is a public, outward declaration that reflects a personal, inward faith. It associates the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and signifies the believer's death to the old life and his or her resurrection as a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:1–8; Colossians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 5:17).  In order to understand the reason for being water baptized, it is important to carefully consider what the Bible says about it.

Why be Baptized?

1. Because you want to follow Christ’s example. Jesus himself was baptized. He was not a sinner, yet he humbled himself in obedience to identify with us and give us an example to follow. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:9

2. Because Christ commanded it. Water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15; James 2:17-18)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

3. Because it shows you are a believer. Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life (Hebrews 6:1-2).

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved . . . ,” Mark 16:16

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38

 

How are we to be baptized?

1. As Jesus was baptized – by being immersed in water.

 The word “baptize” comes from the Greek word baptizo which means “to immerse or dip under water”.

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16

2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water.

 The book of Acts shows us that this was the norm for every believer.

 (Example) “...then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water...” Acts 8:38, 39

 

Who should be baptized?

Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ should be baptized. When Paul writes to the believers in Rome, he assumes that all of them have been baptized (Romans 6). The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ!

“Those who accepted his message were baptized...” Acts 2:41

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

 

Infant Baptism

When a person is baptized, he is making a commitment to live all the rest of his life according to the Bible. He automatically and immediately becomes subject to certain responsibilities that the Bible requires of all baptized people. A person should not be baptized unless he understands this commitment and makes it freely of his own choice.

The Bible reveals that a person must do certain things before he can be baptized. If these things are not done, then the baptism would not be Scriptural. Infants cannot fulfill the Scriptural prerequisites of baptism.

According to the Bible, what are the prerequisites for being baptized?

1. Confess your sins. The Bible says of John the Baptist: “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins (Matthew 3:5, 6, NKJV). We need to acknowledge that we are sinners and confess our sins to God. If we do, He will forgive us (see 1 John 1:9).

2. Repent of your sins.

When Peter preached to the people in Jerusalem on Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus, many of them were convicted by the Holy Spirit and asked Peter what they should do. He replied, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38, NKJV).

3. Believe on Jesus Christ and accept Him as your Savior from sin.

When Philip met an Ethiopian and told him about Jesus, the Ethiopian wanted to be baptized. Philip told him, “ ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ . . . . And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:37, 38, NKJV). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16, NKJV).

Children Baptism

 We do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe the scriptural prerequisites for baptism.

 

The Meaning of Baptism

1. Baptism is a visible act with a spiritual meaning. It is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead.

“...Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4

“...having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12

2. It is a symbol of your new life as a Christian. We bury the ‘old life’ and we rise to walk in a ‘new life’. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it is the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4

Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not ‘save’ you; only your faith in Christ does that.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9

3. In baptism, the believer has the triune name of the triune God placed upon them, ‘Father’, ‘Son’ & ‘Holy Spirit’. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the name of the Godhead (one God in three persons). The Gospels tell us to baptize believers “...into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Baptism confirms our position ‘in Christ’ and affirms the blessings of the Father on us as his children.

4. Baptism also connects us to the ‘body of Christ’, his people in the earth. In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey.

“...For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body . . .” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

When are we to be baptized?

As soon as you have believed! You shouldn’t delay. Believers in the New Testament were baptized the same day. As soon as a person decides to believe in Christ, he can and should be baptized.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized...” Acts 2:41

“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-39

 

Is Re-Baptism Ever Necessary?

Is it ever necessary to be re-baptized? Once you've been baptized, is it ever necessary to be baptized again? The answer is generally, "No."

The Bible does not teach that baptism is a way of rededicating your life to the Lord. You don't have to do this every two or three year’s. So, if you found Christ as your personal Savior and have made a public profession of your faith in the assembly of the saints, you never again need to be baptized.

Are there some circumstances under which a person should be re-baptized?

Yes, there are. Let me suggest to you three.

First, a person should be re-baptized if the first baptism was not a Christian baptism. Some people have been baptized as part of a cult group or other non-Christian group. Even if they were born again at the time, that is not a biblical baptism since baptism has its meaning in the context of the assembly of believers.

The second reason why a person may need to be re-baptized is if the baptism was not biblical in its character. Acts 19 relates an incident in Ephesus where some believers had been baptized, but they had been baptized according to John's baptism. John's baptism was a call to repentance and preparation for the Messiah but not a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

 How could such a profession of faith be made since Christ had not yet come on the scene? Although these Ephesians had been baptized, they hadn't even heard about Jesus. They were asked, "Have you been baptized?" That's another way of asking, "Do you know the Lord?" They said, "Oh, yes, we've been baptized." They were asked, "Whose baptism was it?" And they answered, "John's." They were finally asked, "Well, how about being baptized with the Holy Spirit?" Well, they didn't know about the Holy Spirit. So these believers were re-baptized, only this time it was a Christian baptism. What is "Christian" baptism? It's a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. If you were baptized but at the time there was no acknowledgment on your part that you received Christ as your personal Savior, that is not a biblical baptism.

There's a third reason why a person may need to be re-baptized that could affect many of you, and that is if you were baptized before you found the Lord as your personal Savior, before you personally made a commitment to Christ. If you were baptized as an infant in a Christian church, you ought to thank your parents for bringing you up in a Christian tradition. If anything ought to bring joy to the hearts of parents, it should be their child saying, "Mom and Dad, I have come to know the Lord as my personal Savior and now, having found the Lord as my Savior, I need to proclaim that in the context of the assembly of believers, just as the Bible teaches. I want you to come and celebrate with me to see that what you started many years ago has now grown to maturity."

So if you were baptized before you found the Lord, you really were "dedicated to the Lord," not baptized in the biblical sense. You need to do what the Bible says. Once the Gospel has come to you and you found Jesus Christ as Savior, you need to be baptized "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." –

Can a family be baptized together?

Yes! If each family member fully understands 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.

 

Will I have to say anything?

The pastor will introduce you and tell a bit of your story of how you came to this decision to be baptized. You will be briefly prayed for and then lowered just under the water. You will then leave the water to get changed and watch the others being baptized.

Instructions for your Baptism

Baptisms are conducted monthly and are usually held at the church. Just prior to the baptisms the pastor will explain the meaning of baptism and show you how you will be baptized. It is important that you arrive on time to be present for the pre-baptism instructions. There is plenty of room around the baptism pool for your friends and relatives to celebrate your baptism with you.

 

What should I bring?

Plain t-shirt and long pants or shorts

White socks

Towel

Plastic bag or something similar to take home your wet clothes

Hairbrush/comb and hair dryer (if desired)

Change of clothes

 

 

Last Published: March 6, 2015 10:02 AM