What is baptism?
A Step: it is the next step we encourage after someone becomes a Christian. (Galatians 3:26-27 says “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ”.)
A Sign: an outward profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and an expression of submission to God. (Acts 2:38 says “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”.)
A Symbol: it identifies us with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It represents our death to self and sin, and our resurrection to new life in Him. (Romans 6:3-5 says “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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 Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his”.)
Also, the water of Baptism represents the washing away of our sins as well as the cleansing of our hearts and lives before God. (Acts 22:16 says “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’)
A Sacrament: God works within us to spring to life, strengthen, and confirm our faith. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”.)
What is it not?
Baptism is not the door to salvation. Baptism comes after a person has been saved by choosing to follow Jesus (Ephesians 2:8 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—)
- WHY BE BAPTIZED?
Commanded by God: it signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:19-20 says “Therefore 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”)
Follows the example: Jesus himself was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17 says “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”)
Church membership: baptism is a prerequisite of voting membership in The Wesleyan Church.
WHO CAN BE BAPTIZED?
– Anyone who has made the conscious decision to follow Jesus can be baptized.
WHAT STEPS DO I TAKE TO GET BAPTIZED?
– The easiest way to express your interest is by talking with one of our pastors. We will then have a conversation with you about your readiness for this step in your spiritual journey.
– Invite family and friends. Make it a big deal! Baptisms are always encouraging to the other believers present, and your baptism may be a great witness to your friends and family.
– Wear clothes that are both comfortable and modest for the actual baptism, typically a pair of shorts and t-shirt. Avoid clothes that might be too clingy or “see through” when wet.
– Bring your own towel and a change of dry clothes
– Exercise faith. Great things may happen as a result of baptism which is a step of obedience as well as a witness for Christ.
– When did you make the conscious decision to follow Jesus?
– What are some ways you see God has worked in your life to this point?
– Do you believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? That Jesus Christ the Son suffered in your place on the cross; that He died but rose again, that He now sits at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all people at the last day? And do you believe in the Holy Scriptures as the inspired Word of God? That by the grace of God every person has the ability and responsibility to choose between right and wrong, and that those who repent of their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified (saved) by faith?
– Do you intend by this act to testify to all the world that you are a Christian and that you will be a loyal follower of Christ?
We’d love to connect to talk about your commitment to Christ.