baptism

Maybe you have questions about baptism, or maybe you're ready to step into the waters to profess your own faith in Jesus Christ!  Whatever the case, we hope this page gives you some insight into this powerful experience.  Be sure to contact us using the form at the bottom of the page if we can help you in your journey with Christ!

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What is baptism?

Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit to illustrate the believer's faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior.  When we get baptized, we are publicly identifying ourselves as followers of Jesus Christ, and we are confessing that Jesus is our only Lord and Savior.

  • the first step of obedience

    Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples by baptizing people and teaching them to observe everything that He commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).  The first step of obedience in following Christ for someone who has repented of sin and received Jesus as Lord and Savior is therefore to be baptized.  Baptism does not save us, but if we have given our lives to Jesus Christ, our first step in following Jesus is to be baptized.

  • A Public Profession

    Before being immersed in the water, the baptismal candidate is given the opportunity to affirm his/her sinfulness and need for a Savior by answering the question, “Do you believe that God created you and loves you deeply, but that you have broken His commandments, and as a result, were separated from Him?"


    The baptismal candidate is then given the opportunity to publicly profess his/her belief in Jesus Christ by answering the question, “Do you believe that Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God who came to rescue you by living a sinless life and then dying on the cross in your place to pay the price for your sin?” and “Do you believe that Jesus rose from the grave the third day and lives today?"

     

    Finally, the baptismal candidate is given the opportunity to profess his/her explicit faith in Christ by answering the question, “Have you repented of your sin and received Jesus Christ as your only Lord and Savior?”

  • A powerful Symbol

    The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  All who have received Christ have been crucified with Christ.  God the Father has judged us guilty of sin, and our sentence has been carried out on Jesus at the cross.  The Bible teaches that our “old self” has been crucified and buried with Christ, and being immersed in the water symbolizes this death and burial of the old self.  The water represents the grave into which our old self has been buried.  “For you died,” the Bible says, “and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). 

     

    Not only have we been buried in Christ, but we have also been raised with Him.  Paul wrote, “We were therefore buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).  Because Jesus has been raised from the dead, we who have received Him have also been raised to eternal life in Christ.  Jesus lives in us, and we walk with Him eternally.  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).  We who live and believe in Jesus have already died with Him, and we have been raised to eternal life.  Baptism illustrates this truth by illustrating our being raised from the watery tomb into which we were lowered.

  • An Initiation into Ministry

    Baptism is a profound blessing that initiates the believer into the disciple-making ministry to which they have been commissioned by Christ.  Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that he has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).  We are to be His disciples—who have been baptized and who learn His commands—and we are to make disciples of others.  Everyone who follows Christ has been given this commission, and its fulfillment begins as we leave the baptismal waters.  We have taken the first step of obedience in following Christ by being baptized, and we leave the water to continue obeying Christ’s commands.  Soon, if we are faithful, we will lead other new believers to Jesus and into the water so that they, too, might follow Christ in biblical baptism.  At First Baptist Church, we symbolize this calling to carry the light of Christ into the world by giving you a candle to carry out of the water.

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