Baptism is the next step in your spiritual journey if you’ve made the decision to follow Jesus. Christ called it our first step of obedience– an outward expression of your inner commitment to God.
I. Why should I Be Baptized?
A. To follow the example set by Christ.
“At that time Jesus came from Naareth and was baptized by John in the river.” (Mark 1:9)
B. Because Christ commanded it.
“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciple, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you.'” (Matther 28:19-20)
C. It demonstrates that I really am a Believer.
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” (1 John 2:3)
II. What Is the Meaning Of Baptism?
A. It illustrates Christ’s death, 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)
B. It illustrates my 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) “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Fater, we too may live a new Life.” (Romans 6:4)
C. Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian.
Only your faith in Christ does that. But it does make you obedient. It shows that you’re serious about your faith. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward sign of the commitment you have made in your heart (see Ephesians 2:8-9)
III. Why Be Baptized By Immersion?
A. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” (Mattew 3:16)
B. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(for example) “…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” (Acts 8:38-39)
C. The word “baptize” means “to dip under water.”
D. It best symbolized a burial and resurrection (see Romans 6:1-11).
E. The founders of the major denominations agree:
Martin Luther (founder of the Lutheran denomination): “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin (founder of the Presbyterian denomination): “The word “baptize” signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley (founder of Methodist and Wesleyan denomination): “Buried with Him” alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
IV. Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ. A Believer is someone who has realized that their sin separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A Believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized (Acts 2:41, 8:12-13).
V. What About Children?
The New Testament shows no example of baptism when the person did not request it. All instances of baptism followed an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47-48). At Bay Shore we wait until the child is old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptist them. When a child makes a decision for Christ, we gladly baptize them into the Christian faith.
VI. What About Infant Baptism?
In the Bible we find parents bringing children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But he did not baptized them, and he did not tell anyone else to baptize them. So it seems more Biblical to wait until after a personal decision to trust Christ as Savior has been made by the child. If baptism is a public profession of salvation (as the Bible teaches), only people who have intentionally received salvation should experience baptism.
If you have not experienced adult baptism, even though you have experienced baptism as an infant, the full meaning and significance of baptism has yet to take place in your life. We strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ.
VII. When Should I Be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed. (Acts 8:12) “But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
VIII. Does This Mean It Has to Be Immediately?
No, but the Bible teaches that baptism should follow your decision to become a believer. There is no reason to delay. If you wait until you are “good” enough, you will never feel ready for baptism.
IX. How do Register?
Your first step is to call us at 302-238-7370 or stop by our Info Center to sign up. We’ll then schedule a meeting with you to tape your baptism video. This is where you get to tell everyone when you’ve decided to follow Jesus and how He’s changed your life. We’ll baptize you on stage during one of the Sunday worship experiences, and everyone will get to celebrate with your decision to follow Jesus Christ.
Call us at 302-238-7370, email us, or stop by our Info Center for more details!