Jesus and Baptism
Baptism is Jesus' idea. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus set the example of baptism for His followers when He was baptized by John the Baptist. After His resurrection, Jesus told His followers to share His message with others and baptize those who chose to follow Him.
Baptism is an exciting way to celebrate the new life we now have in God together!
New to Baptism?
Are you new to baptism? Curious about what we believe? Here's a FAQ to help you get started.
In the New Testament, baptism is for every person who is a disciple (follower) of Jesus. If you have repented of your sin and confessed Jesus as your Lord, you should be baptized.
As part of each baptism, we ask the questions like these and we baptize people based on their profession of faith…
- Do you believe that, apart from God, you are a sinner?
- Do you believe that your sin separated you from God?
- Do you believe that there was nothing you could do on your own to save yourself from sin and make yourself right with God?
- Do you believe that the work of Jesus is enough to save you from your sin and make you right with God?
- Do you believe that you have been born again of God’s Spirit and you have a new life in God?
- Jesus told His followers to go make disciples of all nations and to baptize them. Do you confess Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, and is it your intention to be His disciple, to follow Him, and to work together with other believers to make disciples of Him for the rest of your life?
The Bible teaches about two kinds of baptism: baptism of water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus saves a person, they are saved from spiritual death and reborn into a new life. That rebirth is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When a person who has been saved follows Jesus’ example and is physically baptized, that is baptism of water. A person is saved when they are baptized of the Spirit. A person takes their first step of biblical obedience to King Jesus when they are baptized of water. Both are important. Both are biblical.
The word “baptism” literally means “to submerse.” When Jesus was baptized, the scripture says He came up out of the water. Our church finds great unity in practicing the biblical practice of baptism by submersion.
Additionally, Jesus taught His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our church finds great unity in following these instructions from Jesus at each baptism.
The important biblical principle of baptism is that when Jesus saves a person they follow Him in baptism. This practice of being baptized after Jesus saves you is called “believer’s baptism.”
Throughout our Christian journey, we will have many spiritual experiences, but only one spiritual rebirth. A person who was baptized by immersion after believing in Jesus has followed Jesus in biblical baptism.
However, sometimes a person may feel like they were baptized before they were really saved by Jesus. Sometimes they may not have understood baptism entirely when they were baptized and they may want to be baptized again. Sometimes they may feel like they were baptized with the wrong motives or for the wrong reason. Sometimes, they may have been so young that they do not really remember being baptized.
Our church is open to baptizing a person a second time. Our encouragement to each candidate for re-baptism is that they really work with another more mature disciple Jesus to evaluate their faith, their salvation, and their understanding of baptism so that they can feel confident that they can honor God and honor their conscience fully in this baptism. Baptism should not be used as an ongoing means of spiritual renewal. That is not its purpose. Its purpose is for a person to follow in obedience to Jesus after receiving His salvation by publicly professing through baptism their decision and their faith in Jesus.
If you are considering the possibility of being baptized a again, talk to a friend who you admire their walk with Jesus and/or complete the baptism form above to speak with one of our pastors.
Begin by examining your own relationship with God. Talk to a friend you know follows Jesus. The Bible encourages us to work out our salvation in Christian community. Make sure you understand the gospel of Jesus and what biblical baptism means.
As part of this process, visit with a pastor. You can talk to one of the pastors in our church. Simply complete the baptism form and one of our pastors will reach out to set up a time to visit with you about baptism.
The Bible shows us several of Jesus’ purposes in prescribing baptism for His Church:
- Baptism is prophetic. It is a bold statement about our resurrection. Through baptism, the believer proclaims that they have been raised to a new life in Christ spiritually. The believer is also declaring their faith that, when they die or at the return of Jesus, their physical body will be raised and they will get a new body.
- Baptism is for the remission of sins. The Bible does not teach that baptism is what saves a person. Only Jesus can do that. The Bible teaches that baptism is what saved people do. When we are truly saved by Jesus, when we are reborn from spiritual death to life, God changes us so that we have a new spiritual nature that wants to do His will. Obedience to King Jesus by going through the waters of baptism is an outward indicator of the inward work that God has done in us. Our sins are washed by the baptism of the Spirit (see “what kinds of baptisms are there” above), and we agree and proclaim our faith in that work through the waters of baptism.
- Baptism is an act of humility. The original problem that brought sin into the world was that people wanted to do things their own way instead of obeying God. When Jesus saves a person, that person is saved from the pride of living a life separate from God and begins to walk in humility by adjusting their life to agree with God. Baptism is the first step for humility through obedience to Jesus our King. The Bible says a person must confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord in order to be saved. Baptism is a way for believers to publicly profess with their mouth and their actions the lordship of Jesus and their willingness to lay down pride and obey Him.
- Being baptized is being like Jesus. What is a “win” in our spiritual lives and in our church? Jesus said that a disciple is not greater than His master, but, when he is fully trained, he will be like His master. A win is being like Jesus and helping others be like Jesus. Jesus was baptized. His first disciples were baptized. New believers in Acts were baptized. To be like Jesus, we must be baptized like Him.
- Being baptized is a great way to celebrate! God has given us a great way to celebrate the work of Jesus in our lives. People love to celebrate big events – weddings, graduations, gender reveals, birthdays – it is part of human nature. God has given us a glorious way to celebrate our new life in Jesus! Invite your friends, your neighbors, and your family – it is time to celebrate!
- Baptism let’s you drive a stake for your faith. At one point or another, every Christian battles with faith and doubt in their journey with Jesus. Baptism is a physical event, with a physical date, that we can point back to when we are facing doubt and unbelief. We can remind ourselves of our conviction and faith in Jesus by recalling our baptism and remembering the work of God that brought us to that place.
- Baptism is a way every person can confess Jesus. Jesus said that if we deny Him before people, He will deny us before His Father in heaven. But if we confess Him before people, He will confess us before His Father in heaven. What does it mean to confess God before others? Yes, we should all learn to talk about our faith. But what about someone who has just been saved and does not have much training to help them talk about their faith? Baptism provides the immediate opportunity for them to confess Christ before others.
The biblical purpose of baptism is often misunderstood in our culture. A lot of the time, people feel like they need to wait to be baptized until they “get themselves right with God.”
Here’s the bad news – you can never get yourself right with God. Your sin is too severe. There is nothing you can do in your own power to be made right with God.
Here’s the good news – what Jesus has done for you is enough to make you right with God immediately! Through faith in Jesus, your sins are fully forgiven by God, no matter how severe.
Baptism is not about making ourselves right with God. Baptism is about declaring and celebrating what God has done through Jesus to make us right with Him!
So, when should you be baptized? As soon as possible! At our church, we will baptize a person immediately so long as we see in them a genuine faith and a basic understanding of the gospel of Jesus.
To be baptized, complete the baptism form so one of our pastors can reach out to you. They will take time to visit with you, ask you questions, and help you make sure you understand the gospel and baptism. Once that happens, you can be scheduled to be baptized immediately that Sunday.
We have a baptistry in our auditorium. There are clean towels and clothes available at all times for people who desire to be baptized. Under normal circumstances, we keep our baptistry clean, warm, and ready. In the New Testament, we see people who receive God’s salvation being baptized right away. We do our best to keep that option open for anyone who decides to follow Jesus.
Typically, baptisms happen on Sunday mornings as part of our worship service. We have also baptized people on Wednesday nights with smaller groups, and even at swimming pools or ponds when it is most appropriate (i.e. – at a swimming pool with their small group or at a creek during a church camp).