Why Get Baptized?
Why Get Baptized?
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
Before Jesus began his ministry, he was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). Even though Jesus lived a sinless life, he was baptized as a model for us “to fulfill all righteousness.”
If baptism was important enough for Jesus to model, then we should follow him in the practice. Also, before Jesus ascended to heaven, he emphasized baptism as one of the key components in making disciples. He commissioned his followers to go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize those disciples, and to teach them everything he commanded them. (Matthew 28:19-20).
Also in Romans 6:3-8, the apostle Paul relates how baptism is an important symbol. Baptism symbolizes our union with Christ. In baptism we symbolically participate in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Nearly all Christian churches practice baptism in some form. It is almost always connected with the beginning of a person’s walk with Jesus Christ. It is both an individual’s initiation into the universal church (consisting of all believers everywhere living and even those present with the Lord) as well as an initiation into the local church. In baptism, we publicly confess our faith in Christ and declare our commitment to following him from that point forward.
It requires us to move our allegiance from ourselves, anyone, or anything else and to be committed to Christ. Baptism is an act requiring humility. It is an act that we cannot perform for ourselves. We choose to participate, but we cannot baptize ourselves. We are lowered into the water by another and we are baptized into a name other than our own: “the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” as Jesus instructed (Matthew 28:19).
HOW DO WE BAPTIZE?
Because we believe that baptism by immersion best illustrates the symbolism Paul describes in Romans 6 and is generally agreed to be the only mode described in the New Testament (Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39), we exclusively practice baptism by immersion. The word baptism itself, as used during the New Testament period, often means to be dipped or immersed in water.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
In the New Testament, faith is often tied very closely to baptism. When someone comes to faith, the next scene is usually their baptism (Acts 8:34-39; 10:47-48; 16:29-34). Under normal circumstances, baptism should soon follow after faith in Christ. We believe that baptism should be done by immersion for those who are able to profess personal faith in Christ.
DO I HAVE TO BE BAPTIZED TO BE SAVED?
While faith and baptism are tied very closely together, there is nothing about the water itself or the act of baptism that brings salvation. The work of Christ is what saves us, and we accept that work in faith and repentance. We are able to follow through with that commitment of repentance by the help of the Holy Spirit. We believe that when a person comes to faith in Christ the first act of discipleship should be baptism.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?
You will want to bring some clothes or a swimsuit to wear under a t-shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing white clothes. Also, bring a towel and clothes to change into afterwards. The pastor will guide you through the process. Just come, be blessed and bless others as they witness your public stand for Jesus Christ! Make sure to invite friends and family! Even those who normally don’t want to go to church will come just to see you do this important act of baptism!
This information has been adapted from the First Christian Church of Decatur, Illinois
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