“Those who accepted his message were baptized…”
Scripture clearly states that it was the practice of the early church to baptize new believers following their profession of faith in Christ (Acts 2:37, 38, 41, 42). We do not believe in infant baptism. Instead, we dedicate our children to God when they are infants and ask that their parents and the church family prayerfully train the child in the ways of the Lord and guide them to come to a point in their life when they personally ask Jesus Christ to come into their lives and declare Him as their Lord and Savior. It is only following such a declaration will the church baptize an individual.
The act of baptism is not a magical, mystical ceremony. It does not “save” a person or wash away their evil deeds and thoughts. Salvation and forgiveness occur prior to baptism when a person, accepts Jesus Christ as his or her Savior and Lord and commits their life to Christ (Romans 10:9, 10).
The traditional practice of baptism was by immersion (submerging). The Greek word “baptidzo” means “to immerse”. Normally, baptism takes place in a pool in the church sanctuary during a worship service. However, it has also been done over the years, with the believers gathered around, in rivers, lakes and even swimming pools. Though many Christian traditions use alternate means of baptism, we feel baptism by immersion is the more complete and biblical model to follow. The only time sprinkling or pouring water on a believer would be acceptable is when the believer is physically or emotionally unable to be immersed.
The meaning of the baptism is:
First, baptism is a symbolic act. It is a public expression of a person’s faith. It is a visible testimony of an inner commitment.
Second, baptism is a declaration of the believer’s identification with and faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4, 5; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 2:20)
Third, baptism is a symbol of our spiritual death due to disobedience to God (above the water), burial of our old way of life (placed under the water), and resurrection by the power of the Holy Spirit (brought out of the water) to walk in a new way of life (Romans 6:4-6; Colossians 2:12, 3:1-3).
One does not have to wait until he or she is “good enough” as a Christian to be baptized. Baptism is usually administered very soon after a person publicly professes his or her faith in Jesus Christ. Such a practice commonly occurred in the early church (Acts 2:41, 8:35-39, 16:31-33). However, our church asks that all baptismal candidates participate in a short discipleship class prior to baptism so they clearly understand basic Christian teaching and disciplines and are better prepared for their walk with the Lord.
If you are interested in believer’s baptism or want to know more about it, please feel free to make an appointment with Pastor Ken.