WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT BAPTISM?
After you make a commitment to trust Jesus as your Savior, you enter into a life-long relationship with God as a Christ follower. You are a Christian (Christ’s-one) so you passionately seek to learn more about:
- what God is like (His character and actions), and
- the lifestyle He wants His followers to live.
You’ll find that the Scriptures commend baptism as one of the first things you should do to symbolize the inward change you’ve experienced in Christ and to declare your life-long commitment to walk with Him in the new life He’s given you.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
1. TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE SET BY JESUS HIMSELF.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9
2. 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 teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.'” Matthew 28:19-20
3. IT DEMONSTRATES THAT I REALLY AM A BELIEVER.
” … 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 IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
1. IT ILLUSTRATES JESUS’ DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION.
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…and He rose again.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” Colossians 2:12
2. IT ILLUSTRATES MY NEW LIFE AS A CHRISTIAN.
“By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead … so also we may live a new life.” Romans 6:4
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer; it demonstrates that you already believe. It’s important to understand that baptism does not “save” you. You are “rescued” only by God’s grace. He says through your faith that the life and death of His Son, Jesus.
“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
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
1. JESUS WAS BAPTIZED THAT WAY.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
2. EVERY BAPTISM IN THE BIBLE WAS BY IMMERSION.
(Example) “… 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
3. THE GREEK WORD (BAPTIDZO) FOR “BAPTIZE” ACTUALLY MEANS, “TO DIP UNDER WATER.”
When the New Testament of the Bible was written, the Greek vocabulary at that time had words for “sprinkle” and “pour”. In describing baptism, the words for “sprinkle” and “pour” were never used in writing the New Testament. The writers intentionally used “baptidzo”, every time.
4. IMMERSION BEST SYMBOLIZES A DEATH AND RESURRECTION.
“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
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
EVERY PERSON WHO HAS BELIEVED IN WHO JESUS IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE.
“Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:13
“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
A GREAT QUESTION…
What if I was baptized as an infant?
Some churches baptize infants. At ReCAST we don’t. We only baptize those who have made a decision to believe in Christ’s death as the payment for their sin. In the Bible men and women were baptized following their belief in Jesus.
In the Bible we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.
The custom of infant baptism began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. It’s a ceremony intended to emphasize a commitment between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. During this ceremony, the parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ.
Therefore, if you were baptized as a baby, we encourage you to be baptized by immersion as a believer. If you were baptized as a child, it may have been 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 parents’ wishes.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED!
“Those who believe … 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
We believe that baptism is an obedient response in communicating to others your commitment to Christ. Baptism for any other reason (i.e., just to become a member of a church) is not taught in the Bible.
There is no reason to wait. 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 be ready.
WE INVITE YOU TO DIVE IN WITH US IN COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW JESUS WITH YOUR WHOLE LIFE.
PREPARING FOR YOUR BAPTISM EVENT
Step 1: Let the office know that you are interested in getting baptized. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2: Meet with Pastor Don to share the story of how you came to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and to make sure you understand what baptism means. We ask that you write your story down so you can confidently share it at the actual baptism.
Step 3: Pick a date (usually in conjunction with others wanting to get baptized).
Step 4: Invite friends and family! This is a great time to witness to someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet.
Step 5: Take the plunge!
We generally try to have baptism services at a lake or pool. The elder in charge of that day’s baptisms will share a short message about the meaning of baptism, then invite each person up one- by-one to share his or her story and get baptized. To get baptized, you walk into the water to about waist level and the elder will ask you to confirm your faith in Jesus Christ. He will then say, “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” and dip you backwards fully under the water, then lift you up.
Some people find it meaningful to have a family member or someone important to their conversion join them in the water or help with the baptism. This is fine! Just talk to the pastor or elder to work out the details.
We ask that everyone wear a dark colored t-shirt and shorts and that ladies have a swimsuit underneath. Be sure to bring a towel and change of clothes.