Baptism is our public testimony that we have repented of our sins and trusted Christ by faith. Baptism is the first step of obedience to those who have been born again. Baptism does not save a person, however it is essential to church membership and your future growth in Christ.
1. To follow the example set by Jesus.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” (Mark 1:9 )
2. Because Christ commanded it.
“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all the people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
3. It demonstrates obedience as a believer.
“…Many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18:8)
“We know we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” (1 John 2:3)
BAPTISM IS THE FIRST STEP OF OBEDIENCE THAT EVERY BELIEVER SHOULD TAKE
1.It pictures Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…and He rose again.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”
(1 Colossians 2:12)
2. It pictures my new life in Christ.
“Know ye not, that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
3. It pictures our death to sin and our ultimate bodily resurrection.
“For as we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Romans 6:5)
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows that 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. Wearing a wedding ring does not make you married, but does indicate that you are. Baptism does not save you, but it does identify you as being saved.
Picture – A picture is not a real person, but you could recognize the person after seeing their picture.
“For it is by grace you are saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
BAPTISM IDENTIFIES YOU WITH JESUS CHRIST
1. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as He was baptized, He went up out of the water.” (Matthew 3:16)
2. Every baptism in the New Testament was by immersion.
“…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” (Acts 8:38-39)
3. The word baptize means “to put under water.”
The Greek word baptizo means “to immerse or dip under water.”
4. It best symbolizes a death and resurrection.
The founders of many 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.”
What Does It Mean When We Refer To “Scriptural Baptism”?
It is baptism…
By immersion. After Salvation.
Everyone who has repented and has committed to follow Christ.
“Those who had believed and accepted His message were baptized…” (Acts 2:41)
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” (Acts 8:13)
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)
CAN CHILDREN BE BAPTIZED?
At CALVARY, we allow anyone who has been born-again (believed in and made a commitment to Christ) to be baptized.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents commit to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his or her 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 who believe. The purpose of baptism in the Bible is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. Therefore only those who make a personal decision for Christ are baptized and not infants or children at their parents’ request.
At Calvary it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated.
Many people have been baptized right here at Calvary Baptist Church!
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED!
“Those who believed…were baptized…that day!”
“Then Philip began with the Scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” (Acts 8:35-38)
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have received Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel “good enough”!
You can make your desire and need for baptism known by letting a minister know during the time of invitation at the end of a worship service or by speaking with a minister some other time. After confirming your desire and need for baptism the pastor will let the church know of your desire and schedule a time for your baptism.
CAN MY FAMILY BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?
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. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience. Parents should not coerce their children to be baptized before they truly understand. We encourage you to invite your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.