Water baptism and communion are the only two ordinances that Jesus gave the church in which to participate. They help us picture the important foundational teachings of Jesus.
Water baptism is immersion in water in a public ceremony to announce to everyone that a person has decided to be a Christ follower. It is commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28:19, and the church practiced it in Acts 2:41. The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures.
Questions About Water Baptism
Because baptism signifies that the person has made a decision to be a Christ follower, we instead have parent and child dedication. Child dedication is a public commitment you, the parent(s), make before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you an opportunity to express publicly your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others. With questions about child dedication, contact Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesus is our example of being baptized, even though He had never sinned. He commanded John to baptize Him for an example to us. Jesus’ last instructions before He left this earth were to “baptize everyone in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 18:19)
In Acts 2:41-42, everyone was baptized after they believed. Very soon after salvation, each believer was baptized in water in the New Testament Church.
The Bible does not give a specific age. We do not believe there is a right or wrong age. Children and adults must be able to give a credible profession of their faith — one that is genuine and rooted in biblical understanding of salvation — in order to be baptized. Likewise, children and adults must have a simple understanding of what baptism is and why it is important. Baptism does not save you. When you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, choosing to surrender all areas of your life to Him, then you are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Baptism is the next step. It shows the world that you are turning from a life of sin to live a new life in God.
Water baptism is an outward picture of what Jesus has done for you on the inside (I Corinthians 12:13). When you go all the way under the water, you are showing people that your old spirit and all your past sins (the things you have done that are not pleasing to God) are buried with Jesus. When you come up out of the water, you are saying Jesus has given you new life. Everyone sees the picture of the change that has taken place inside your heart.
If you or your child understand what it means to be water baptized and want to schedule a time to be baptized, fill out the form below.
If you do not feel you understand what it means to be water baptized, it is very appropriate to wait. Remember, water baptism does not save – that is done by trusting Jesus. Baptism is meant to be a very meaningful experience. In the case of a child, the older the child is, the more likely he or she will look back on the experience with the confidence that is reflected in a sincere desire to follow Christ. Observe a water baptism and ask God for the right timing.