Jesus established water baptism as a commitment opportunity for believers when He gave the Great Commission message in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16. Water Baptism is far more than a ritual or religious exercise. It is not only our personal choice, but it’s a command for us as believers.
Water Baptism is a public, outward declaration that reflects a personal, inward faith. It associates the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and signifies the believer’s death to the old life and his or her resurrection as a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:1–8; Colossians 2:12, 2 Corinthians 5:17). In order to understand the reason for being water baptised, it is important to carefully consider what the Bible says about it. Please read the information below and if you have any questions please contact a Pastor at the church office.
Why be Baptised?
We should follow Christ’s example
Jesus himself was baptised. He was not a sinner, yet he humbled himself in obedience to identify with us and give us an example to follow. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:9
Christ commanded it
Water baptism is an act of faith and obedience to the commands of Christ. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15; James 2:17-18)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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.” Matthew 28:19-20
You are a believer
Baptism declares that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. It is the next step after salvation through repentance and faith and is an important foundation for the Christian life (Hebrews 6:1-2).
“Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved…” Mark 16:16
“Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38
The Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is a visible act with a spiritual meaning
It is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 “…having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
It is a symbol of your new life as a Christian
We bury the ‘old life’ and we rise to walk in a ‘new life’. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it is the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“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.” Romans 6:4
Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not ‘save’ you; only your faith in Christ does that.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
Baptism confirms our position in Christ
In baptism, the believer has the triune name of the triune God placed upon them, ‘Father’, ‘Son’ & ‘Holy Spirit’.
The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the name of the Godhead (one God in three persons). The Gospels tell us to baptise believers “…into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Baptism confirms our position ‘in Christ’ and affirms the blessings of the Father on us as his children.
Baptism also connects us to the ‘body of Christ’, his people in the earth.
In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey.
“…For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
“For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 (NLT)
Frequently Asked Questions
How are we to be baptised?
As Jesus was baptised by being immersed in water. The word “baptise” comes from the Greek word baptizo which means “to immerse or dip under water”.
“As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water. The book of Acts shows us that this was the norm for every believer. (Example) “…then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38,39
Who should be baptised?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ. When Paul writes to the believers in Rome, he assumes that all of them have been baptised (Romans 6). The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ!
“Those who accepted his message were baptised…” Acts 2:41
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
We do not baptise children until they are old enough to understand and believe.
When are we to be baptised?
As soon as you have believed! You shouldn’t delay. Believers in the New Testament were baptised the same day. As soon as a person decides to believe in Christ, he can and should be baptised.
“Those who accepted his message were baptised…” Acts 2:41
“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptised?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him.” Acts 8:35-39
What about being baptised twice?
We recommend that you be baptised again if you have not been baptised by immersion since you became a believer. It doesn’t devalue a prior experience but simply reflects your desire to be baptised in the same way Jesus was baptised.
Can a family be baptised together?
Yes! If each family member fully understands the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptised at the same time.
Will I have to say anything?
The pastor will introduce you and will give you an opportunity to tell a bit of your story of how you came to this decision to be baptised. You will be briefly prayed for and then lowered just under the water. You will then leave the water to get changed and watch the others being baptised.
What should I bring?
- Bathers, plain t-shirt and long pants or shorts
- Plastic bag or something similar to take home your wet clothes
- Airbrush/comb and hair dryer (if desired)
- Change of clothes (We encourage women to wear bathers with pants or shorts and a top over the bathers)