WATER BAPTISM IS …
1. THE FIRST STEP OF DISCIPLESHIP
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing 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 …” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
INSIGHT: Water baptism is not “earned” by being “spiritual” enough, or “mature” enough as a Christian; instead it is the required first act of obedience after salvation, that puts us on the journey of Christian growth through learning and continuing to obey the Word of God.
2. A SIGN OF A PLEDGE TO GOD
“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 3:18-21 NIV)
INSIGHT: Water baptism has no benefit to the outer body, but it is in essence an act that declares a vow, or a pledge before God, to do our best to live a life that always maintains a clear conscience before God, in response to the indescribable gift that He has given us; salvation from our sins through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
3. IDENTIFICATION AND SYMBOLIC REENACTMENT
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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 6:1-4 NIV)
INSIGHT: Our debt of sin was paid for by the death and burial of Jesus, and our power over sin was made available by the resurrection of Jesus. Water baptism is composed of 3 basic parts: the going down under the water, which symbolizes the death of Jesus, the staying under the water (for a fraction of a second) which symbolizes the burial of Jesus, and the coming up out of the water, which symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus. So when we are water baptized, two things happen. First, we physically reenact the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Second, and even more important, we “identify with” or “spiritually experience” His actual death, burial and resurrection in our spirits. Thus, as Jesus died, we too die to sin, and as Jesus rose again from the dead by the power of God, we too can experience a brand new life, which includes power over sin.
4. CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART
“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hand of men, but with the circumcision done by Christ, 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 2:9-12 NIV)
INSIGHT: Before we become a Christian, our “heart” (the core of our life) is controlled by our old sin nature. When we become a Christian, our old sin nature is “put to death” in terms of having control over us, but it still acts as a weight upon our life, with its old habits and ways of thinking. Through water baptism, Jesus Himself “cuts” this old dead nature away from our heart spiritually, much like the Jews, through circumcision, cut away the flesh of every male child. Through circumcision of the heart, our heart is fully “exposed” before God, and the weight of the old nature (also called the “flesh”) is removed from our life. Illustrated another way, the old nature is like a dirty layer of skin on our body. When we become a Christian, the dirty layer dies, but its weight is still on us, burdening us down. Through water baptism, this dead layer of dirty skin is then cut away or shed from our body, so that we are no longer burdened by it.
5. BAPTISM INTO CHRIST
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:2 NIV)
INSIGHT: In being Water Baptized by the representatives of a local church, you are not declaring membership in that church. Water baptism is baptism into Christ, not into a local church or denomination. If you want to become a member of a specific local church, you should contact the church office of that church.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE FULL BENEFITS OF WATER BAPTISM:
“… 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 NIV)
INSIGHT: According to the Bible, everything must be done “by faith”. This includes water baptism. We experience the full benefits of water baptism, not by mustering up faith within us, or by trying to “psyche” ourselves into believing that something will happen, but instead, simply by believing, that what God has promised, He will accomplish, as we obey Him. It is by believing, not in our own power to change, but in “the power of God”, that raised Jesus from the dead. If we can believe that the power of God raised Jesus from the dead because Jesus was obedient, then we can believe, that this same power can accomplish miraculous things in our lives, as we are obedient to Him in water baptism.
ITEMS TO BRING TO YOUR WATER BAPTISM:
- Clothes to be baptized in. We highly recommend a one-piece swimming suit for the women, and a set of swimming trunks for the men, and a T-shirt to wear into the water. You will be dismissed part way through the service, and allowed to change into your baptism clothes.
- Dry clothes to put on after the water baptism.
- Portable Hair dryer (if desired).
- Comb or hair brush.
- Family and friends to share in this celebration.
- Enthusiastic faith in God.
If you are interested in being water baptized, please fill out the following contact form.