What is Baptism?
The word “baptism” is a transliteration of the Greek word baptisma from the root word bapto. The word bapto paints a picture for us. In the days of the Old and New Testaments the act of “baptism” was seen in everyday life. How? The word bapto means “to dip in or under.” The word that grew out of that, baptizo, means “to immerse” and in Greek literature referred to “sinking” a ship or “to sink” in mud, or “to go under.” It also referred to pieces of cloth or clothing being immersed in water for cleansing or in dye for changing (they took on a new identity, the cloth identified with the new dye). Thinking of these pictures, consider the meaning of baptism. Baptism does not cleanse or change a person, but symbolizes what Christ has done in a believer’s life.
In coming to Christ, we are immersed by the Spirit into Christ for cleansing and for changing. Just as a piece of clothing would be cleansed or changed into a new color, so when we are immersed into Christ by faith, we are cleansed and changed on the inside—we have a new identity, a new life in Christ. Just as a cloth was cleansed and changed for a new use, so we are cleansed and changed for a new use, a new walk with and in Christ. Baptism symbolizes this changed life.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change, symbolically identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Our Beliefs About Baptism
We believe that scriptural baptism is by being completely immersed under the water and after salvation. Jesus was immersed and all baptisms in the New Testament were by immersion. These two facts set the standard for baptism today. Baptism has no saving power but is the first act of obedience after coming to Christ. Baptism symbolizes the following:
• The believer's faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
• The believer's death to sin and resurrection to walk anew in Christ.
• The Christian's belief that he will die, be buried, and that Jesus will resurrect him from the dead.
Who Should Be Baptized?
The Scriptures command all who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior to be baptized by immersion as a testimony of this new relationship to Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38, 41; 9:18; 10:47-48; 22:16)
How Is a Person Baptized?
In the act of baptism, a believer in Christ is immersed under the waters of baptism whether in a pool, a creek, a river, the ocean, or a baptistery in a church—anywhere there is enough water to immerse a person.
In baptism, a person goes into the water, then is placed under the water and immediately raised up out of the water.
What If a Person Is Hesitant to Be Baptized?
Understanding these truths is one thing. Obeying them is another. One of the obstacles many new believers face is the temptation to shy away from being baptized. For those who are a bit bashful in front of a crowd, remember, the crowd before whom you are being baptized is family forever. Sometimes the devil tempts us, tries to put fear in our hearts, or tries to convince us that it does not really matter about baptism. Still other excuses can come—I am too young, too old, too hesitant… the excuses are many. Do not let a single excuse or a bundle of excuses stop you. Being baptized is a blessing to you, to the Lord, and to every believer, and it is your privilege as a disciple of Jesus.
How Do I Schedule a Baptism?
Call the church office at 618-632-6223, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
Where do I go?
Come to the Welcome Center about 20 minutes before the start of the service you are scheduled for. A deacon or pastor will meet you there and take you to the baptistry area.
What do I bring?
We provide towels, robes and hair dryers so you just need to bring a bathing suit or shorts and a shirt to wear under the robe.
Still have questions?
Contact us! Call the church office at 618-632-6223, email us at email@example.com or complete the form below.