Considering baptism? Am I ready to be baptized?
Baptism is for anyone who wants to accept or has accepted the teachings and call of Jesus Christ. All those who are willing to repent of their sins and confess their faith in Christ should be baptized (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38-39).
God, the author of all things, created mankind to have fellowship with Him. Sin entered the world and we became separated from God. Jesus Christ gave up His position next to God to come to earth where He lived a sinless life. He voluntarily died on a cross to pay the price for our sins and then rose again thereby allowing us the possibility of a renewed relationship with God. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and mankind. All those who desire to accept His sacrifice in faith, responding to God’s grace, should be baptized. You need not understand everything there is to know about God. You need not “clean up your life” first. You need to simply understand the purpose of your baptism and commit to following Christ.
If you’d like to be baptized or talk more about baptism, please contact Wade Allen by phone at (765) 689-9469 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I be baptized?
A person should be baptized to:
follow the example of Christ (Matt. 3:13-17),
to obey Christ’s command (Matt. 28:18-19),
to accept forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16),
to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38),
to express trust in Christ (Acts 8:12-13),
and to testify to God’s work in his or her life (Rom. 6:1-8; Gal. 3:27).
Baptism also serves to cleanse a guilty conscience (1 Pet. 3:21).
The Holy Spirit prompts individuals to recognize their sin and guilt. The only method by which the human soul can be wiped clean of sin is through the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:27-10:7). This “washing away” of sin is most clearly demonstrated in the act of baptism (Acts 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). Since one of the biggest obstacles between God and man is human pride, baptism also offers a venue by which believers humble themselves before God and others and admit their need for Christ’s redemption (James 4:6). In addition, baptism meets a God-given human need for making a commitment, much as a marriage ceremony is an official act of love and commitment. The act of baptism, by itself, cannot save an individual who lacks faith. We are saved through accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and that includes repenting of sins, confessing Christ and being baptized.
When should I be baptized?
A person should be baptized at the time he or she trusts in Christ. The Bible teaches we are saved by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8), but in the New Testament church, a person’s baptism was always the first expression of faith, not separate from it. So baptism was not just a symbol or a memorial of faith, but offers a means of union with Christ and a benchmark of transformation, marking the place and time a person made a commitment to Christ (Rom. 6:1-8). At the Church of Christ at Grissom, we are attempting to restore the original intent and practice of baptism. Therefore, we ask a person to be baptized at the point that he or she is ready to make a commitment to Christ.
How should I be baptized?
The word for “baptism” in the New Testament is the Greek word baptizo, which means “To immerse in water.” Examples of how it was used in first century culture include the dyeing of a garment by plunging it into a vat, the drawing of water by dipping one vessel into another, or even the sinking of ships at sea. Some form of the word is used 91 times in the New Testament. The vast majority of these cases refer to the act of submitting to immersion in a body of water in response to a person’s admission of his sinfulness, a sense of repentance, and the realization of the need for God’s mercy and forgiveness to overcome that condition. The New Testament teaches that baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-5). Baptism specifically serves as a symbol of the burial of the old self and the resurrection of the believer’s soul to walk in life with Christ. Therefore, at the Church of Christ at Grissom, we baptize people by immersing them in water.
Must a person be baptized during a worship service?
No. Baptisms at other times are acceptable and were the norm in the early church (Acts 8:38; 16:33). However, baptisms during worship services do provide the opportunity to testify to your faith and show humility. What about infant baptism? If the purpose of baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, the question may well be asked by some, “What is the significance of my baptism as a baby?” Biblically, baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. God creates all of us in His image, and babies are incapable of sin, and also unable to have an understanding of sin and salvation. In the New Testament the examples we see of baptism are with people old enough to make the decision for themselves. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parent’s wishes.
Should a person ever be rebaptized?
Any person who has trusted in Jesus as the only Son of God and who has willingly been immersed into Christ may become a member of the Church of Christ at Grissom whether the baptism occurred at CCG or elsewhere.
Rebaptism is encouraged for those who lack confidence in their initial baptism experience because they don’t remember it, they were coerced, or their heart was not right with God at the time. Anyone who has fallen into sin after having been baptized should repent and seek forgiveness, but rebaptism is not necessary (1 John 1:8-9).