Baptism

 

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. - Acts 2:38 (NIV)

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING BAPTIZED

 

Why Should I be Baptized?

 

To follow the example set by Jesus.

 

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” - Mark 1:9

 

Because Christ commanded it.

 

“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” -  Matthew 28:19-20

 

It demonstrates that I really am a follower of Jesus.

 

“...many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.”  - Acts 18:8

“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.”  - 1 John 2:3

 

 

What’s the Meaning of Baptism?

 

It illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

 

“Christ died for our sins...  He was buried...and He rose again.” - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.  -  Colossians 2:12

 

It illustrates my new life as a Christian.

 

“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside.  The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!”  - 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Baptism doesn’t make you a believer; it shows that you already believe.  Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that.  Like a wedding ring, baptism is the outward symbol of the commitment you have made in your heart.

 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”  - Ephesians 2:8-9

 

 

Why Baptism by Immersion?

 

Because Jesus  was baptized that way.

 

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” - Matthew 3:16

 

Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.

 

“...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water...” - Acts 8:38-39

 

The word “Baptize” means to immerse or dip  in water.

 

The Greek word baptizo means, “to immerse or dip under water”.

 

It best illustrates a burial and resurrection.

 

The founders of denominations agree:

 

Martin Luther - “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

 

John Calvin - “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse.  It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

 

John Wesley - “Buried with Him alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”

 

 

 

Who Should be Baptized?

 

Every person who has believed in Christ.

 

“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized...” -  Acts 2:41

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News...and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”  - Acts 8:12

 

At FMBC, we wait until children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.

 

Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children.  This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child.  The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until he child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ.  This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.  This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe.  The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.

 

At FMBC, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were “confirmed” as children.

 

Your first task as a new believer is to be baptized it is your obedience and service to God that demonstrates your new freedom and allegiance to Christ.

 

 

 

When Should I be Baptized?

 

As soon as you have believed!

 

“Those who believed...were baptized...that day!”  - Acts 2:41

“Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water!  Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’  Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’  The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’  So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”  - Acts 8:35-38

 

There is no reason to delay.  As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized.  If you wait until you are “perfect," you’ll never feel “good enough!"

 

 

 

Can My Family be Baptized Together?


Yes!  If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time.  It is a wonderful expression of commitment.  Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with Pastor Tim for a pre-baptism conversation.

 

However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition.  It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children.  This puts undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.

 

 

 

What Should I Wear When I am Baptized?


Women should wear shorts and a top or a “muumuu” style dress rather than a swimsuit.  Men may wear a swimsuit.  Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.  We provide changing rooms.

 

 

 

Will I Have to Say Anything?

 

Yes.  At the beginning of the service, Pastor Tim will briefly explain the meaning of baptism.  You will wait at the edge of the baptistery for your turn to be baptized.  Pastor Tim or another pastor will introduce you, and ask you a question like, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and do you intend to follow Him all the days of your life?”  The only response you will be required to make is, “Yes, I have.”  If you would like to say more, Pastor Tim will be happy to work that out with you.  After your response, Pastor Tim will briefly lower you just under the water, and then you can leave the pool, dry off, and watch any others being baptized that day.  Later you will be mailed a certificate of your baptism.  We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.

 

 

 

What About Any Special Needs?

 

If you have any kind of special need—medical, physical or otherwise, let Pastor Tim know, and arrangements will be made to accommodate you.