BaptismBiblical Answers About Baptism
Why Be Baptized?
Many people ask, “Why should I be baptized?” That’s a valid question. There are several biblical reasons:
To follow Jesus’ example (Matthew 3:13-17). Even though he was perfect, and sinless, Jesus willingly submitted himself to baptism as he began his ministry. We should follow his example, submitting to baptism into Christ.
To obey what Christ commanded (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is not an option, a take it or leave it proposition. Christ issued this command as one having all authority. Thus, baptism is not a preference of men or a church, but an imperative command of Jesus.
To follow the teachings of the Disciples (Acts 8:35-38). Phillip’s preaching of Jesus involved an explanation of baptism. Otherwise, the eunuch would not have asked the question about being baptized. (Acts 2:38) Peter taught that part of one's response to Christ in addition to repentance was baptism. (Acts 16:29-34) Paul explained to the Philippian jailer that there is something to do to be saved. His answer was to believe in the Lord Jesus. Please notice that baptism followed this belief and was a demonstration of this belief. Mere belief is not consistent with The New Testament conversions. Baptism always follows believing in Jesus.
The early church baptized (Acts 2:36-38, 41; Acts 8:5-12; Acts 18:8). Those who were baptized first believed in Jesus, repented of sin, and then were baptized. One is to be a repentant believer to be eligible for baptism.
To wash away our sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16). An inward cleansing that trades our sins for God’s Spirit! The water does not cleanse; it is a symbol of the cleansing that comes from Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. (1Peter 3:18-21)
To pledge allegiance to Christ (1Peter 3:18-21). Our baptism is a public proclamation and affirmation of our faith. It is our “pledge of a good conscience toward God.”
Burial of the old self (Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians 2:12). The baptismal is a “water grave.” It pictures the death and burial of our old self. It also pictures our resurrection with Christ.
To be clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27). This outward act of obedience displays our loyalty to Christ.
Are You Saved By Being Baptized?
No! Salvation is by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. However, the Bible teaches that the natural response to this faith is repentance and baptism. When it comes to the issue of baptism, it is our desire to be obedient to the scriptures. In them we see:
- Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).
- The disciples taught it (Acts 2:38; 8:30-38; 16:30-33)
- The early Church practiced it (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47)
When and Where Can I Be Baptized?
Immediately! When you understand God desires this and why, do it at once. We encourage you to do it in one of our worship services, as a public testimony to others. But we can arrange to baptize you anytime (it happened after midnight in Acts 16:25-33). It does not have to be in a church building, though our baptistery is always available.
What About Infant Baptism?
Many ask: “I was baptized as a baby, do I need to be baptized again?” The Bible only speaks of people being baptized who were old enough to make that decision on their own. When babies are baptized, it is usually a parent or grandparent doing the best they know to do for the child. Notice what the Bible connects with baptism: Believe and be baptized (Mark 16:15). Confess our belief and be baptized (Acts 2:38). Call on the Lord (pray) and be baptized (Acts 22:16). Can a baby do any of these?
Infant baptism normally involves “sprinkling.” The Bible word for baptism means to immerse, dip into, submerge, cover over. Only in this way does baptism picture Christ’s death and resurrection, and the removal of sin. Sprinkling does not. Furthermore, sprinkling actually began 1000 years after the New Testament was written.
Is Baptism Required For Church Membership?
At Lake Sawyer Christian Church we require no more or no less than what Jesus required of His Church. Because Christ commanded baptism for His followers (Matthew 28:18-20), we require the same.
What About Children?
There is no certain age where every child is prepared for baptism. Any child old enough to understand what Jesus did for them on the cross, and who has accepted Christ as their personal savior, should be baptized.
For further help and information, please call the church office, (360) 886-8045.