Wondering if baptism is your next step?
This page has been designed to explain baptism and the necessary steps to be baptized at Journey.
We want baptism to be a meaningful and enjoyable experience, and we look forward to walking through it with you.
The information that follows is intended to contain all you need to know about baptism at Journey, but if you have further questions, feel free to contact us.
Who should be baptized?
We believe the Bible teaches that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation (i.e. the forgiveness of sins) occurs only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the sufficient payment for his or her sin. If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he died for your sin on the cross, and if you want to follow his leadership in your life then you are ready to be baptized.
What Baptism Symbolizes
Baptism is more than a person being dipped under water; it is filled with deep spiritual meaning and reality. Consider the spiritual realities that baptism so vividly pictures:
- An embrace of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
- A sharing in His death and resurrection, illustrated by going under the water (dead to your old life), then rising again (new life)
- A symbolism of being washed clean and sins being forgiven by His death on the cross
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience. While the act of baptism itself does not save us, obedience to Christ in baptism demonstrates our submission to God and simple faith in him. We immerse (dip under water) at Journey Christian Church because we believe the Bible shows that Jesus modeled that for us as the way to publicly acknowledge our faith in Him.
The baptism process at Journey has been designed to be both simple and meaningful. From the registration form to the baptism meeting, each step has been carefully planned with you in mind:
- Complete the Baptism Registration Form
- A staff member or baptism coordinator will reach out to you to schedule your baptism date and talk with you about sharing your story via video
- Once your video and baptism are scheduled, we will have a conversation to help you shape your story in a way that points people toward Jesus
- Your baptism will take place directly after your video shoot
- We will then work with the service production team to schedule your baptism video to be shown in service
Making Your Video
One of the most powerful aspects of baptism at Journey is the video testimony shown right before your baptism. The video allows you to share how Christ has been working in your life. Many people ask, “Do I have to do the video?” The answer is yes, we really encourage you to do so. Our faith may be a very personal thing, but Jesus never intended for it to be something private.
Another important reason we do a video is it allows friends, family, and even those you don’t know to celebrate the amazing transformation God has worked in your life. You can also see examples of our recent baptism videos. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect with your video.
We want baptism to be a meaningful and enjoyable experience, and we look forward to walking through it with you! If you have any questions, please contact us.
Still Have Questions?
You may listen to the baptism message “Sinless Baptism” by James Brummett. In the message, he answers the questions we are most often asked about baptism. You may pickup a CD in the Connections environment on Sunday morning or listen to the message online. In addition to the message, we encourage you to read through these FAQs below.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baptism
What Is Baptism?
It is a public acceptance of Jesus Christ
Baptism is a pronouncement of belief. It is like preaching a visual sermon. It is a public way of saying to everyone that you have decided to give your life to Jesus Christ.
“Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8
It is a point of departure from your past and an entrance into an altogether new life
For those who had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their baptism was a vivid reminder that they had departed from a former way of life and had begun a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Baptism was a tangible reminder of a point in time when this transition happened.
“We were therefore buried with him (Christ) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may have new life.” Romans 6:4
It is a means of bringing us into union with the death Christ and with His body, the church
In Romans 6 we are told that we are “baptized into Christ” (v. 3) and “united with him” (v. 5). First Corinthians 12:13 says that when we were baptized we were baptized into the body of Christ, the church.
It is God’s claim to ownership over me
You are baptized “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20). To baptize in the “name of Jesus” (Acts 2:38; 8:16), or in the name of the triune God, is one and the same. We use the names of the Trinity since it was our Lord’s commission to his disciples and to his church.
The phrase “in the name of” means both to call on the character and power of the one named and it means to become the “possession of” the Lord Jesus Christ.
For Personal Reflection:
For what reasons are you considering baptism? How does knowledge of the statements above help you take another step toward baptism?
What is the Significance of Baptism?
Baptism is not just a physical act. It is not just something to do. It is an act filled with deep spiritual meaning and reality. Consider the spiritual realities that baptism so vividly pictures:
It pictures Christ’s burial and resurrection
“Christ died for our sins . . . he was buried . . . and he rose again.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
“We were therefore buried with him (Christ) through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may have new life.” Romans 6:4
It pictures the cleansing of sin
In Acts 22:16 Ananias instructed Saul to “Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on the name of the Lord.” This is one reason why immersion is so significant: it is a complete cleansing by which we are forgiven of all our sin (cf. Acts 2:38).
It pictures my new life as a Christian
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (TLB)
“By our baptism then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead . . . so also we may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (TEV)
Baptism does not make you a believer—you are baptized because you are a believer in Jesus Christ. The act of baptism alone doesn’t “save” you. Christian baptism is preceded by personal faith/trust in Christ and is coupled with confession and repentance. Consider these passages:
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” Galatians 3:26
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved. But he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16
“Repent and be baptized . . . for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38
“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?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.’ And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:36-38
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
For Personal Reflection:
How do the Scriptures above influence your thoughts about the importance of baptism?
Why Be Baptized?
Because Christ commands it
“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all the people everywhere and make them disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” Matthew 28:19-20 (TEV)
That Jesus commanded baptism should settle the matter for anyone desiring to be a follower of His. The call to baptism is primary in our acceptance of Christ and his teachings. To know that Christ has called us to be baptized into “the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” and not obey is unthinkable for followers of Christ.
Because obeying Christ’s command shows you know Him
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus walked.” 1 John 2:3-4, 6
Because you want to follow Christ’s example
“At that time, Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9
Jesus believed that baptism was necessary for even him to do in order to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus, the Son of God, gave us a powerful example of humble submission to the will of God. He would not allow anything or anyone to deter him from following God’s will in this matter (Matthew 3:14). And because Jesus Himself was baptized no one who wishes to be a follower of his should avoid submission to this call of God.
Because it is the appeal we make to God for a clean conscience
“Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:21 (NASB)
There is a completeness, a wholeness that comes to those who are baptized. No one ever comes up out of the water after being baptized and asks, “Now what else do I need to do?” In effect there is a cleansing of the conscience that baptism brings both in personal experience and by God’s design.
Submission to Jesus’ command to be baptized is the response of a believing heart to what he has done for us on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) and his offer of new birth (John 3:3).
Because it unites you with Christ in a very special way
“You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27
Being “clothed with Christ” is a powerful word picture of what happens when a person is baptized into Christ. It has been said that in baptism we put on Christ. In a sense, our baptism is our full embrace of Christ and of his forgiveness and leadership over our lives.
Because you desire to be forgiven
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:36-38
For Personal Reflection:
As you consider all that the Scriptures say about baptism in these verses, how do you feel God is calling you to respond?
How Should I Be Baptized?
Like Jesus was baptized–by being immersed in water
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He came up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
The Greek word translated “baptize/baptism” is the word baptizō and it literally means to “immerse, dip under, or submerge beneath.”
For the first 1200 years of Christian history immersion was the universally accepted mode of baptism. Many of the great churches built during those years, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, have large pools in which they immersed people.
Every baptism in the New Testament was by immersion
When Jesus was baptized, the Bible uses the Greek word baptizō to describe that event.
When Jesus commanded that his disciples be baptized, He used the Greek word baptizō to instruct them how to do it.
“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
The Apostles, consistent with Jesus’ example and command, instructed new believers to be immersed into Christ, using the Greek word baptizō to describe the action.
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
It is the best way to picture a burial and resurrection
“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 … we too may have new life.” Romans 6:3-4
The picture immersion portrays is compelling: just as a person lowers you into the water, Christ lowers you into the pool of his grace until every inch of your soul is clean. Buried in a watery grave, covered from head to foot with God’s love, you are washed clean by the blood of Jesus.
Consider the statements from the founders of three denominations and other church historians and scholars:
Martin Luther (Lutheran): “On this account I could wish that such as are baptized should be completely immersed into water according to the meaning of the word and the signification of the ordinance . . . as also without doubt it was instituted by Christ” (Works, Vol. II. p. 75, ed. 1551).
John Calvin (Presbyterian): “The very word baptize signifies to immerse, and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the primitive church” (Institutes, Vol. XI., ch. 15, sec, 49).
John Wesley (Methodist): “We are buried with him, alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion” (Notes on N.T., Romans 6:3). “Baptized according to the custom of the first church and the rule of the Church of England, by immersion” (Journal, Vol, 1. p. 20).
F. Brenner (Roman Catholic): “Thirteen hundred years was baptism generally and ordinarily performed by the immersion of a man under water” (Work on Baptism, Augusti. Denkwurd, VII. p. 62).
Philip Scaff (Presbyterian): “Immersion, and not sprinkling, was unquestionably the original form of baptism. Baptism is to immerse in water” (History of Apostolic Church, pp. 568-569).
For Personal Reflection:
As you consider baptism by immersion, describe how the symbolism of the burial and resurrection would be especially meaningful to you.
If God Knows My Heart, Isn’t That Enough?
Why the Emphasis on a Physical Action for Spiritual Results?
The two cannot be neatly separated. For example, the physical act of disobedience brought about a spiritual result in the garden (Genesis 1-3). In addition, the physical birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus himself brings the greatest spiritual potential to us: salvation. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that a spiritual decision to accept Christ by faith is linked to a physical response like baptism. Honest faith always results in appropriate action. In fact, Scripture says that faith without action is dead (James 2:17).
Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ
According to the Scriptures, those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God should be baptized. The Ethiopian Eunuch asked Philip:
“Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” Philip replied, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” Acts 8:36
Every person in the New Testament who was baptized first believed in who Jesus was—the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He or she also believed what Jesus did—died on the cross, was buried in a tomb, and was raised back to life three days later.
Popular author and speaker Max Lucado has written, “We are never told to be baptized and then believe, but to come to belief, to trusting faith, and then display that decision by associating ourselves with Christ in baptism. Baptism is the initial step of a faithful heart. This decision requires significant levels of maturity” (Baptism: The Demonstration of Devotion, 1995). Note these additional passages:
“Those who 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 . . . they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
Those who have repented of their sin
Closely connected to belief is repentance. Peter exhorted the people at Pentecost to:
“Repent . . . and be baptized.” Acts 2:38
Repentance means to have a change of mind. It means to make a U-turn or to do an about-face. You were going down the road of destruction, death and hell; but you repented, you turned around, changed your direction, and changed your mind. Therefore, baptism is for believers who have repented of their sin.
For Personal Reflection:
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Is repentance a one-time thing or a life-long process? Where is repentance needed in your life as you follow Jesus?
Should an Infant Be Baptized?
Since baptism is for those who have believed and repented, we do not practice infant baptism. An infant cannot believe. An infant cannot repent. Therefore, we do not practice infant baptism.
Lewis Foster, a respected scholar who was on the translating committee for both the New King James and the New International Versions of the Bible, explains the origin of sprinkling and pouring as forms of baptism:
“Although other practices have been introduced as substitutes, history sustains that these (pouring and sprinkling) are changes from the original practice of immersion. The earliest historical example of pouring occurred in about A.D. 250. this was administered because of Novation’s illness and was later called into question (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 6, 43, 14-15). Earlier references to practices other than immersion either give preference to immersion or do not deny the originality of immersion. The Roman Catholic Church is the earliest source of authority for a change from immersion. Clement V formally recognized sprinkling (but water must flow) as valid baptism in 1305” (New Testament Teaching On Baptism, The Christian Restoration Association, 1960).
Why Do Some Practice Infant Baptism?
The practice of infant sprinkling began because of the development and distortion of two doctrines. One is called “baptismal regeneration” which says that the act of baptism alone actually washes away one’s sins, or regenerates the person. The doctrine of “baptismal regeneration” is a false doctrine and it is not taught in the Bible.
The other distortion has to do with the doctrine of “original sin.” Some in the church came to believe that an infant was born not only with a sinful nature (i.e. “original sin”), but also with “original guilt.” To them, this meant that an infant was condemned and guilty before God at birth simply because of the sin nature they inherited from Adam’s disobedience (see Romans 5:12-13, 19); they were personally guilty of Adam’s sin. Thus, if the child died he was doomed for hell. Since some in the church believed that baptism actually saved the candidate, they began to do the next logical thing: they baptized babies believing that the act of baptism secured the child’s forgiveness and salvation from condemnation.
We believe the New Testament clearly teaches baptism to be a personal response of a repentant believer in Jesus Christ. This is only possible for someone who has reached a point of maturity. Only then can they understand their separation from God because of their personal sin, and therefore understand their need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31), confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), repent of their sin (Acts 3:19), and respond in obedience to Christ by being baptized (Acts 2:37-38). This point of maturity is not defined in the Bible as a certain age. The point of maturity and accountability for each person will vary.
Many denominations continue to sprinkle infants even though there is no New Testament teaching (or example) for such a practice. Some consider it to be an act of dedication for the parents. Others see it as a sort of down payment for the infant’s salvation. They say that the infant is being baptized that he/she may one day be saved, rather than to save him/her. Still others believe infants are children of God because their parents have made a commitment to Christ and are Christians.
While we recognize the right of other churches to practice infant christening, we understand the Bible to teach that only professing believers qualify for baptism. Baptism does not make you a believer, rather it shows that you already believe. Baptism is the response of a believing, trusting heart. Therefore we do not believe there is any biblical reason or need to have a baby baptized by any means.
What Happens to Children Who Die Before the Point of Maturity?
We believe that these children will be received into the eternal presence of Christ. The Bible teaches that eternal condemnation comes to those who have willfully sinned.
Galatians 5:19-21 describes the willful “acts” or “deeds” produced by our sinful nature. A person is guilty of these acts/deeds when they are carried out, not before (see Ephesians 5:3-6 and Colossians 3:5-10).
Specifically, the Bible teaches that it is the sin of unbelief that causes a person to fall under God’s condemnation (John 3:17-20; 8:24). A young child does not have the ability to understand the message of Christ and therefore seek repentance. As 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 indicates, it is an unwillingness to obey the gospel (i.e. making a personal faith-response to the gospel message) that brings “everlasting destruction.” It is those who know the truth about God and then ignore that truth who are deserving of death (see Romans 1:18-32). This is willful sin.
Deuteronomy 1:26-46 describes a time when the Israelites willfully rebelled against God. As a result, God sentenced that entire generation to die in the desert. However, he exempted young children from that fate precisely because they had no part in the willful disobedience toward Him, for they had no way of knowing good from evil (Deuteronomy 1:39).
The Bible teaches that before the point of maturity all children belong to God; he even calls children born to those who despise him “my children” (Ezekiel 16:20-22). God lays full claim to children, for in their innocence they belong to him (Matthew 18:1-14).
No infant is capable of ignoring God’s truth. A young child cannot understand what God has revealed and then reject that truth. Upon the event of their tragic death, children will be received into the presence of God.
Can Babies Be Dedicated?
It is appropriate, though not necessary, to dedicate a baby. It is more appropriate, however, for parents to dedicate themselves to rearing their children in the Lord. From time-to-time we offer parents of newborns an opportunity to dedicate themselves to rearing their child to know and love God.
Baby dedication is also done as a reminder that our church has dedicated itself to partnering with parents in their responsibility to lead their children to faith in Christ. Please keep in mind, however, that this is a dedication ceremony, not a baptism. It is a commitment by parents to raise the child in a godly fashion, not a child’s personal decision of faith.
What if I was Sprinkled as a Child? What Should I Do?
First, you should be grateful that you had parents who cared enough about you to set you apart for God. Because of their devotion, you have an opportunity to complete their prayer by willingly submitting to Christ in his call to you to be immersed.
Second, being immersed is not a sign of disrespect for what your parents did, nor is it an act of condemnation toward them. The very opposite is true: it should be seen as the fulfillment of their prayers and best desires for you.
Be thankful for the heritage of concerned parents, but don’t be negligent of your responsibility as an adult to make your personal commitment and obedience to God in baptism (Philippians 2:12-13).
Can a Child be Baptized?
Yes! However, keep in mind that Biblically speaking, baptism is appropriate only for those who have made a personal decision to trust in Christ alone for their salvation.
At Journey, we do not baptize children unless they are mature enough to place their faith in Christ and understand the true meaning of baptism and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. Generally, we consider this to be no younger than ten to twelve years of age.
Should a Person Ever be Re-baptized?
Re-baptism is only encouraged for those who lack confidence in their initial baptism experience because they don’t remember it, they were coerced, or their heart was not right with God at the time. Anyone who has fallen into a pattern of sin after having received Christ and having been baptized should repent and seek forgiveness, but re-baptism is not necessary (Acts 8:13-24).
Does the Act of Baptism Itself Save a Person?
No. Scripture is abundantly clear that only Jesus saves (Acts 4:12). The work of salvation is a finished work by Christ on the cross (Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:10-14). Baptism has no redemptive powers of its own. There is nothing special about the water in the river, pond, or baptistry.
Tragically, some people believe they are going to heaven when they die just because they have been baptized. They have no genuine personal faith, have never made a personal decision to receive Christ as Savior and Lord, and are banking on a hollow ceremony to save them. If baptism itself could save, the cross of Jesus would have no real meaning. If a person’s faith is in the sacrament and not the Savior, he is trusting in a powerless ritual.
What if a Person is not Baptized? Can He or She be Saved?
The Bible never specifically answers or addresses this question. It is never answered because no one ever asked, “Do I have to be baptized to be saved”? After the Gospel was an accomplished fact (i.e. Jesus had been crucified, buried, and raised back to life), the pattern of teaching in the New Testament is clear: upon placing their faith in Jesus Christ, people were instructed to be baptized. It is noteworthy that each time they responded without questioning the necessity of baptism.
When the disciples were once confused about who could be saved, Jesus said, “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). God is the only one capable of forgiving sin and giving his Holy Spirit. He can do it at any time or in any way that he chooses. This being true, consider this question, “Why isn’t the person baptized?” There are three possible answers:
I never understood baptism
Perhaps you were never instructed to be baptized. Maybe you’ve never been challenged to consider the issue. That’s entirely possible. If this is the case, we urge you to give thought to what God says about baptism. This doesn’t negate your faith up to this point. Part of maturity is an openness to understand and be obedient to new areas of the Christian walk.
I don’t want to
Let’s analyze this response for a moment. God humbles himself by leaving heaven and being born in a stable. The God of the universe eats human food, feels human feelings, and dies a sinner’s death. He is spat upon, beaten, stripped naked, and nailed to a cross. He takes our eternal condemnation on Himself in our place. He then offers us the forgiveness of all our sins as a free gift and asks that we say yes to him in baptism and someone responds, “I don’t want to.” Such a response does not make sense. Resistance of this kind points to a deeper problem of the heart. Such a person does not need a study of the ordinance. He needs a long, honest examination of the soul. The incongruity of disobedience puzzled even Jesus.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things I ask?” Luke 6:46
Believers not only offer their sins, they yield their wills to Christ. If one won’t obey Christ in baptism, why would he obey Christ in anything else?
The highest motivation to do anything is because God asks you to do it. The heart of the repentant believer says, “If you want me to be baptized in a pile of leaves, I’ll do it. I may not understand every reason, but neither do I understand how you could forgive someone like me.” If one is resistant to Christ’s command to be baptized, one might wonder if there is genuine faith and a spirit of repentance. Someone who understands the command of Christ to be baptized and refuses to obey should not consider himself to be submitted to Christ.
What if I die before I can get baptized?
The answer to this question can be found in the character of God demonstrated to the thief on the cross (cf. Luke 23:39-43). Can a believer who has never been baptized to be saved? Yes, absolutely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, absolutely. Should someone placing his faith in Christ be baptized as soon as possible (cf. Acts 2:41, 8:35-38, 16:30-34)? Yes, absolutely.
When Should I be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Savior of the world. In the New Testament, there was a sense of urgency about baptism (Acts 16:31-34). Baptism is not an optional ritual, to be delayed or postponed. Jesus commanded that his followers be baptized. He never indicated they should wait until it was more convenient.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized . . . that day.” Acts 2:41
“But when they believed . . . they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
“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
The Bible teaches we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). In the New Testament church a person’s baptism was always the immediate expression of faith, not separate from it. At Journey, our desire is to restore the original intent and practice of baptism found in the Scriptures. Therefore we encourage people to be baptized at the point they are ready to make a commitment to Christ.
What Should I Wear When I Am Baptized?
We encourage you to wear a dark t-shirt and shorts (or something similar).
Will I Have to Say Anything?
Yes. You will be asked to repeat the words of the Good Confession as a public profession of your personal faith in Jesus Christ: “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Lord and my Savior.”
Can My Family Be Baptized Together?
Yes. If each family member fully understands 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. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with a staff member from our Family Ministry for a pre-baptism conversation.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal decision, not a family tradition. It is unwise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to make their own decision to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience and response to Christ.
Some Concluding Thoughts
We want to teach and practice everything the Bible teaches about baptism. We are not interested in making it more important than Scripture does. On the other hand, we are not willing to make it any less important, either. We believe that the answers provided in this study reflect what the Bible clearly teaches in regard to this ordinance.
Don’t allow baptism to be something it is not.
Apart from the cross it has no significance. If you are trusting the water to save you, you have missed the message of grace. Beware of dogmatism. No one on this side of heaven can fully understand the majesty of baptism. Watch out for the one who claims to have a corner on the issue.
Don’t prevent baptism from being what God intended.
It is a precious symbol of God’s grace. It is a beautiful illustration of our union with Christ. It is a willing plunge into the power and promise of Christ. In baptism God signs and seals our conversion to Him. This is no optional command of Christ. This is no trivial issue. Baptism is a holy event and therefore is not to be taken lightly. The ritual of washing (Acts 22:16) signifies our admission that apart from Christ we are dirty, but in Christ we are pure. The ritual of burial (Romans 6:1-5) signifies that we are willing to die to sin and self and that we can be made alive again because of Him. Christ’s death becomes my death. Christ’s resurrection becomes my resurrection.
For all we may not understand about baptism, we can be sure of this:
Baptism is a holy moment commanded by Jesus to be obeyed by all who place their faith in Him.
Remember the words of Christ at his own baptism: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew 3:15
Additional Study Questions
Still have questions and want to learn more? Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow.
Matthew 3:11, 13-17
According to Matthew 3:11, why was John baptizing?
Why did Jesus insist on being baptized?
What two significant signs accompanied the baptism of Jesus?
Upon whose authority is the “great commission” given?
In whose name(s) is baptism to be done?
What is to follow the baptism of a disciple?
What special promise goes with this command?
What is the promise to the one who has both believed and been baptized?
What warning is related to refusal to believe in Jesus?
When the people were ready to accept Christ, what did Peter tell them to do?
What were they assured of if they sincerely took these steps?
When were they baptized?
What was the message preached by Philip?
How did the eunuch express his faith in words? In actions?
What form of baptism is described in these verses?
What did Paul and Silas tell the jailer to do when he asked, “What must I do to be saved?”
What message was given to the jailer and his family?
How did the jailer show repentance (a change of heart and actions) toward Paul and Silas?
What was the reason for the rejoicing of the jailer and his family?
Why do you suppose the jailer and his family were baptized during the night?