BaptismDeclare Your New Identity With Christ
What is the Meaning of Baptism?
1. It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… and He rose again.” –1 Cor. 15:3-4
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” — Col. 2:12
2. 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 Cor. 5:17
“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!” –Rom. 6:4
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. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make 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
Who Should Be Baptized?
1. Every person who has believed in Christ.
“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
2. At Silver Creek Fellowship, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a baptism ceremony that is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the 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.
Can My Family Be Baptized Together?
Yes! If each family member understands the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed their 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 one of our elders 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 an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
Why Be Baptized By Immersion?
1. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” –Matt. 3:16
2. Every baptism in the New Testament 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
The word Baptize means “To dip under water”. The Greek work Baptizo means “To immerse or dip under water”. It best symbolized a burial and resurrection!
3. The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther… “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work 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.”
What Should I Wear When I Am Baptized?
Women should wear shorts and a top which will preserve modesty; Men may wear a swimsuit and t-shirt. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet articles of clothing.
Would You Like To Be Baptized?
We baptize the second Sunday of each month. If that doesn’t work for you we can arrange another Sunday also!
A WORD CONCERNING INFANT BAPTISM
If the purpose of Baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, you may well be asking yourself, “What was the significance of my baptism as a baby?” In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. The Bible does not give us any examples of Jesus baptizing them, or telling anyone else to baptize them. Our conviction is that baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.
If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Jesus Christ. Your baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes. It in no way repudiates the baptism you received as a child.
SCF encourages parents to dedicate their children. Dedication is a time of public and personal commitment, where parents make a covenant to teach their kids about building a relationship with Jesus Christ.