Baptism According to the New Testament
Why be baptized?
1. 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
2. Because Christ commanded it.
“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” -Matthew 28:19-20
3. Because it shows you are a believer.
“...many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.” -Acts 18:8
4. Because obeying Christ’s command shows you know Him.
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” -1 John 2:3
What is the meaning of baptism?
1. It is a symbol of 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
2. It is a symbol of your 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 might live a new life!” -Romans 6:4
3. It is the outward expression of faith in Christ.
“...baptism... which now saves you- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge [or response] of a good conscience to God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ...” -1 Peter 3:21 (AMP)
How are we to be baptized?
1. Like Jesus was baptized - by being immersed in water.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” -Matthew 3:16
2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water.
(Example) “...then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized them. When they came up out of the water...” -Acts 8:38-39
3. The word “baptize” literally means “to dip under water.”
The Greek word baptizo means: “to immerse under water.”
4. It is the best way to picture a burial and resurrection.
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther: “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the Word imports and the mystery
John Calvin: “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley: “Buried with Him, alluding to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ.
“...those who believed and accepted his message were baptized.” -Acts 2:41
“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
“Simon himself believed and was baptized...” -Acts 8:13
The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ. Therefore, we do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe.
When are we to be baptized?
As soon as you have believed! You shouldn’t delay.
“Those who believed... 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 eunuch 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 official answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” -Acts 8:36-39 (paraphrase)
There is no reason to delay. As soon as a person decides to put their belief in Christ, he can and should be baptized.
What about being baptized twice?
Our church recommends that you be baptized again if you have not been baptized by immersion since you made the decision to believe in Christ. It doesn’t devalue a prior experience but simply reflects your desire to be baptized in the same way Jesus was baptized.
Can my family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member 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, as it is a wonderful expression of commitment.
Will I have to say anything?
No. The pastor will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait for your turn to be baptized. He will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water, and then you will leave the baptistery, dry off, and watch the others.
If I’ve made the decision to be baptized, what do I do next?
1) fill out your C.R. Card and make a note about your decision, or
2) tell the Campus Pastor or one of the Prayer Partners at the conclusion of the service, or
3) call the church office. A day and time will be scheduled for your baptism.
God will bless you as you identify with His Son’s death, burial, and resurrection in baptism!