Baptism was instituted by our Lord and practiced by early believers. As explained in the Scriptures, baptism was a declaration of the believer’s identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Clearly, baptism was practiced by the early church, and therefore, we believe this ordinance should be practiced by the church today.
Why do we baptize?
We baptize because:
- Baptism was commanded by our Lord –Matthew 28:19
- Baptism was practiced by the early church—Acts 2:41; 8:26-39; 10:44-48; 16:31-33; 18:8.
Who should be baptized?
In the Scriptures we find examples of disciples (or followers) of Christ, believers, and those who had received the Holy Spirit being baptized:
- Disciples (or followers of Christ)—Matthew 28:19.
- Believers—Acts 2:41; Acts 8:30-38; Acts 16:33-34.
- Those who have received the Holy Spirit—Acts 10:44-48.
Therefore, we conclude that those who have personally confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (i.e., Christians) should be baptized.
What does baptism mean?
Baptism is a declaration of the believer’s identification with Christ:
- Identification with Christ in His death—Romans 6:3
- Identification with Christ in His burial—Romans 6:4a
- Identification with Christ in His resurrection—Romans 6:4b
Baptism is an acknowledgement “that our old self was crucified with Him” (Romans6:6 and a profession that henceforth we “might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4b).
How should we baptize?
We believe that a person should be baptized by being fully immersed in water:
- The word baptism was transliterated from the word baptizo meaning to “make fully whelmed; to dip or to sink”.
- Baptism took place where there was much water—John 3:23
- When they baptized they went down into the water (Acts 8:38) and came up from the water (Matthew 3:16).
Also, when baptizing by immersion, the picture of going down into the water and coming up out of the water symbolizes the believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
- Have you confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?
- Have you been baptized as a believer?