Baptism is a very important step in your spiritual journey. According to the New Testament, it is the next step after becoming a Christian. But, many of us have questions as to why we should get baptized, what is involved, what happens, etc.
Here are some of the most common questions when it comes to baptism:
Q: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
A: It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… and He rose again.” –1 Corinthians 15:3-4
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism
you were also raised with Christ.” –Colossians. 2:12
A: It illustrates 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
“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
A: Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows that you already believe.
Baptism does not “save” you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith… it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8, 9
Q: WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
A: Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” –Matthew 3:16
A: Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(Example) “…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
A: The word Baptize means “To dip under water”.
The Greek word baptize means “to immerse or dip under water”. It best symbolized a burial and resurrection!
Q: WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
A: Every person who has believed in Christ.
“Those who believe and 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… and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” –Acts 8:12
At Calvary Lakewood, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. For more information on Parent Commissioning, or what we describe as a Parent/Child Dedication, please contact us, HERE.
Q: WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
A: As soon as you have believed.
“Those who believe…were baptized…that day!” –Acts 2:41
“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
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel “good enough”!
Q: CAN MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?
If each person understands fully 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. However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family or group tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on others to join you. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?
A: We recommend that you wear shorts and a t-shirt or swimsuit and dark clothing is best. Bring a change of clothes and a plastic bag for your wet clothes. We will have towels available for you.
Q: WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?
A: We ask that you answer a couple questions about why you are getting baptized. We do this because it’s a powerful opportunity to share the change Jesus has made in your life. We have found that sharing these stories can really help someone else to relate to what Jesus has done in their life. We don’t want to miss that opportunity to share, but we also understand that speaking in front of people can be scary. You are welcome to write your answers out and read them directly from the paper. At the beginning of the baptisms, one of our pastors will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. The Pastor will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water, and then you can leave the water, dry off, and watch the others. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
If you have any questions about baptism or to sign up for our next baptism, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.