We are excited that you have made the decision to be water baptized in your desire to follow Jesus Christ as Lord. Please read and study this page. Once you have finished and believe you understand well enough to move forward, complete the water baptism participation form at the bottom of this page. Pastor Cameron will contact you with further instructions and details of our next scheduled water baptism celebration.
What Is Baptism?
Baptism is the ceremonial act of immersing a professing Christian in water according to the command of Christ and as an outward sign of many wonderful truths of God's grace and our salvation.
Baptism is a public testimony before God and other witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12) in which you identify yourself as a “follower of Jesus Christ.” In baptism your are testifying that you have placed your faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for your sins and have made a commitment to submit your life to God.
Baptism should be seen as your public rite of initiation into the family of God (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians12:13; Galatians 3:27-28). It declares to the world that you have repented from your sins, turned to God in faith, and made Him your Lord and Savior (Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:4; Acts 2:37-38, 16:31-34; 22:16). Baptism is an outward sign of your union with Christ and God's gracious work in you. It illustrates that you have died to your old life of sin, been buried with Christ, raised to a new life in Christ, and washed from a guilty conscience (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:10-12; Titus 3:4-5; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 3:21). Baptism also signifies that God will give you all that He promises, especially the gift of His Holy Spirit – who is called the guarantee of your inheritance (Acts 2:38-39; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22; Ephesians 1:13-14).
Why Is Baptism Important?
Baptism is an important part of your Christian walk but it is not essential to salvation. The Bible clearly says that a person cannot be saved by doing any kind of good works – including the “work” of being baptized (Romans 3:20, 28; Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:4-5).
Although baptism does not save you, it is still important for at least three reasons:
Reason #1: Jesus Christ commands you to be baptized. Acts 2:38 says, “Repent, and each of you
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [in view of] the forgiveness of sins.”
Reason #2: It is part of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus Christ gave the
church the mission of making disciples, which includes baptizing them. We know from this passage
that being baptized is part of being a disciple. In fact, if a person has not been baptized how can he
faithfully obey Jesus’ command to disciple others? How could he encourage someone else to be
baptized if he has not been baptized himself?
Reason #3: It is a declaration that you are committed to living a life of holiness before God and that
you are empowered by God to do so. Here is how Romans 6:1-14 explains it:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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...For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin...In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
When Should A Person Be Baptized?
It is to be done after a person is saved. Believer’s baptism follows the “born again” experience at
conversion (John 3:3), symbolizing the death of our old way of life (going down) and our “first breath” (raising up) to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This is the pattern in the New Testament. New believers were commanded to be baptized (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Whenever possible baptism should immediately follow one’s conversion. Acts 2 describes the first converts in the first church. Acts 2:41 says, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.” The account of Philip and the eunuch also shows this same pattern. Acts 8:35-38 says, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went alongthe road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” [And Philip said, “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 he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.” (For other examples read about the Apostle Paul in Acts 9:18, Cornelius in Acts 10:48, and new converts in the city of Corinth in Acts 18:8.) Although one who desires baptism must first be “born again” (John 3:3), he does not need to feel worthy, perfect, or sinless. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only perfect and sinless person who became the worthy sacrifice for the sins of all men (John 1:29; Romans 5:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 3:18).
Have You Identified Yourself With Your Leader?
Just as you are called by James to question the validity of your faith if you have no works to back it up (James 2:14-26), so you have reason to question the validity of your claim to be a true disciple of
Christ if you resist getting baptized. We have already seen that you are commanded to be baptized
(Acts 2:38). 1 John 2:4 says, “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” It could be that you have never understood what baptism is and why it is important until now. You are certainly not alone. Though you may have been unaware of God’s will in this matter, we can praise God for leading you to take this important step of obedience! Remember, baptism is a wonderful opportunity to identify yourself with Christ. It is a powerful way to communicate an important message. In being baptized, you are telling others in a powerful way that…
• You have committed your life to Christ.
• You are determined to turn from your old ways of serving yourself to a new life of serving Jesus Christ.
• You are trusting in Christ’s death on the cross as the substitute for your sin.
• You have determined in your heart to do whatever Christ wants you to do.
• You want to be a part of the body of Christ.
• Jesus Christ, as your Leader, is worth following – even though it may be uncomfortable to do so. Jesus Christ is worthy of all of the worship that you have to offer Him.
Are You Ready To Be Baptized?
As discussed above, the only prerequisite to water baptism is salvation. Please seriously consider the
following questions before requesting to be baptized:
• Have I agreed with Romans 3:23, that “I am a sinner” in need of a Savior? "…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
• Have I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and turned (repented) from my former life of sin?
…Repent [turn from living your way to living God’s way], and each of you be baptized in the
name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38)
• Am I committed to righteous living in attitude, desire, and regular practice in my life?
He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me (John 14:21)
…He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to
righteousness (1 Peter 2:24)
• Do my heartfelt ambitions reflect the pursuit of a new life in Christ?
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God…Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry (Colossians 3:1-5)
• Am I committed to being a “follower and imitator of Jesus Christ?”
The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked (1 John 2:6)
As you consider being baptized before God and other witnesses, please ponder these questions in
your heart before God, making sure your public testimony honestly reflects your desire to live a
changed life for Christ. Baptism is a public statement made in the integrity of your heart between you and God.
Do I need to be REbaptized?
No. If you have been baptized in the past, you have fulfilled the commandment. We don’t normally encourage rebaptism. However, many have been baptized as children and have no recollection of it, or before they truly understood what they were doing. We would not turn away anyone wishing to be baptized.
Can children be baptized?
Certainly, as long as they thoroughly understand what they are doing. We do require that you wait until your children are at least 6 years old (preferably older) so they can make an intelligent and believable profession of faith that is their own. We believe that a younger child can be saved, but the older a child is, the more they will understand and the more meaningful baptism will be for them. Remember that children do not need to be baptized in order to be Christians.
When should I be baptized?
You should be baptized as soon as possible after you have personally trusted Jesus Christ for salvation and been born again. However, remember that you are not baptized in order to become a Christian. Rather you are baptized because you are a Christian.
How should I be water baptized?
We baptize by submersion (as opposed to sprinkling or pouring) because we believe it most clearly fulfills the biblical form. The term “baptize” literally means “to submerge, immerse, or plunge”. In addition, going under water best represents what happens when you become a Christian.
While the submersion mode of baptism best illustrates the work of Christ, the Bible does not mandate how much water should be used. Therefore, we would not argue with those who believe they have a valid baptism in another form. We will always baptize by submersion unless there are other extenuating circumstances that would guide us (physical handicap, sickness, etc.).
Again, the next step is to complete the Water Baptism Participation Form which will alert Pastor that you are ready to move forward and have read and understand the information on this page. He will contact you with further instructions and details of our next scheduled water baptism celebration.