Jesus established water baptism as a commitment opportunity for Christ followers, in order to express their personal, inward faith in a public, outward declaration. Water Baptism is far more than a ritual or religious exercise. It is a statement of declaration to your family and friends of your desire to live for Jesus and to please Him. 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?
- Because Jesus set the example: Jesus humbled himself in obedience to identify with us and give us an example to follow (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9).
- Because Jesus commanded it: water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ (John 14:15; James 2:17-18; Matthew 28:19-20).
- Because Peter reiterated Jesus’ command and His followers carried on the practice (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:26-40).
- Because it is a declaration that you are a follower of Christ: It is a public confession of your commitment to Jesus and is the next step for a Christ follower after salvation (Hebrews 6:1-2; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38).
How Are We To Be Baptized?
We are to be baptized the same way that Jesus was which was by immersion (Matthew 3:16). The word “baptize” comes from the Greek word baptizo which means “to immerse, dip under, or plunged into water”. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water. There is no reference in the Bible or even an inference to a sprinkling method.
Who Should Be Baptized?
At Impact Church, we will baptize the following people:
- Followers Of Christ - In Acts 2:38, the first thing Peter said was “repent.” A person must repent and receive Jesus as personal Saviour and then be baptized in water. If a non-Christian gets baptized in water he will go down into the water a dry sinner and come out of the water a wet one! It will have been a meaningless ritual. The when is already answered then; whenever you become a follower of Christ, you are a candidate for water baptism and should obey the command of Jesus as soon as possible (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:35-39).
- Adults and Youth – There is no reference anywhere of children being baptized. Children were dedicated to God’s service but never do we have an example of them being baptized; however, neither does the Bible forbid it. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14 NKJV).
Note- That being said, we don’t encourage children to be baptized, but have found that from time to time a child will appear who very earnestly desires to be baptized. We handle each case separately and leave it to the discretion of the child’s parents and pastoral staff as to whether or not the child is both old enough to believe and understand what they are doing.
The Meaning Of Baptism
- We are identified with His death, burial and resurrection (Colossians2:12).
- We are burying our old life and its ways and rise to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:2-4).
When you are taken down into the water, it is symbolic of dying with Jesus and dying to your old way of life; when you come out of the water it is symbolic of rising with Jesus from the dead and to a new way of 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.
Baptism does not make you a Christ follower; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not ‘save’ you; only your faith in Christ does that (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism also connects us to the “family of God”, his people on 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 (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
I Would Like To Get Baptized. What Do I Do?
Fill out a Water Baptism Application Form and return it to the Welcome Centre, to the church office or to one of the pastors. You will receive a letter or a phone call to confirm the date and time of your baptism. You will also go through an orientation as to what to expect at a baptism event so that you are properly prepared. If you have any further questions please click here or contact us by at firstname.lastname@example.org.