go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19,20
This is such an exciting time in your life! We are
honored to be a part of this important decision in your relationship with
Jesus. As you follow Jesus' command concerning Water Baptism, we want you to
do so understanding the biblical foundation for this life-changing step of
In Acts 8, you can read about Philip's encounter with a
man from Ethiopia.
Philip took the opportunity to expound upon the scriptures and to introduce
the Ethiopian to the saving knowledge of Jesus. While talking, they came upon
a body of water, and the man asked if he could be baptized. The New King
James version of the Bible says that Philip responded with his prerequisite:
"If you believe with all your heart, you may."
Before being baptized in water you must come to a place
of surrender to Jesus by making Him the Lord and Savior of your life. Your
resolve must be similar to the Ethiopian man, "I believe that Jesus is
the Son of God." Salvation is necessary before taking the next step of
Water Baptism. If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, then read on to
find out what Water Baptism is about.
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Jesus left His people with two specific commands that
are vital to our growth as Christians. The first is communion (the Lord's
Supper) and the second is Water Baptism. He gave the church these sacraments
as a reminder of his death and resurrection. Water Baptism is not your
salvation, it is only another step of obedience in the plan of God. You are
dying to yourselves and coming alive to the power and purpose found in
Christ. In a very real sense, you are saying, "Not my will, but Yours."
In Water Baptism, you're identifying with the death,
burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:3,4 attests to this when
it says, "...all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized
into His death? We were buried with Him through baptism into death in order
that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the
Father, we too may live a new life."
When you are submersed into the waters of baptism, you
are symbolically, yet very intentionally, dead to your old ways of living -
it is buried! As you come up from the water, you are made alive to the new
life found in Christ. Now that your old life is "dead unto Christ",
you want to be sure not to go digging it back up!
Water Baptism is a public act that renounces sin from
your past and professes faith in Christ. You are expressing publicly that
Jesus is your Lord, and that you are a part of the family of God. Many have
referred to baptism as an "outward sign of an inward work." It's a
visible and audible confession to your friends, family, and church of the
deep work Christ has done in your life. The Book of Acts chapter 10 refers to
many individuals who responded to the message of Jesus. During this time, the
Apostle Peter asked if "anyone could keep these people from being
baptized with water." The answer was obviously "no" and
therefore they were publicly baptized as an open acknowledgment of Christ as
Nothing could be greater than a life that is fully alive
through Jesus Christ! That happens when you are not trapped in bondage to
your sin and guilt. In baptism you are crucifying the sin of your life and
coming alive to Christ.
There is great joy when you are alive to Christ and dead
to sin. Water Baptism is a symbolic statement of this new life and marks a
point of release into further growth and ministry for you as a believer.
Not only is Water Baptism a Biblical command, but it has
also been modeled to us by Jesus who himself was baptized as described in the
Gospels. He knew the importance of this sacred moment and He calls you to the
same obedience, knowing that it will mark a significant point of blessing for
our life. Praise the Lord!
Please see a pastor or contact our office if you are
interested in being baptized at our next Water Baptism service.