What is water baptism?
Water baptism is an outward symbol of an inward decision to follow Jesus. Romans 6 tells us that when we are baptized, we put to “death” our old sinful life. Baptism is an expression of our desire to be united with Jesus through his death and burial (going down in the water) and the new life we have because of his resurrection (coming back up from the water).
Do I have to be baptized in order to go to heaven?
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God. Some traditions teach that you must be baptized in order to receive salvation. We firmly believe that one is only saved by grace and through faith and not of anything we do on our own (Ephesians 2:8-9). Water baptism doesn’t save you, it only declares to the world that God has already saved you.
Can anyone get baptized?
Anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ can and should get baptized. The Bible does not show that you must wait any set period of time. In fact, there are examples of people being baptized immediately after accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Baptism is about taking your next step in obedience to Christ, therefore we encourage people to get baptized as soon as we offer it.
What’s the difference between immersion, sprinkling or other forms of baptism?
Although there are different traditions in how people baptize, we believe the New Testament model was baptism by immersion. The written account of Jesus being baptized describes him coming up out of the water (Matthew 3:16). As you study the word for baptism in the original language, it means to make fully wet. Therefore, we baptize by immersion and encourage you to take this step if you have never been baptized in this way.
Do you baptize children?
Some churches choose to christen infants. While we recognize the right of other churches to practice infant baptism, our understanding is that the Bible teaches that only professing believers qualify for baptism. Baptism does not make you a believer, rather it shows that you already believe.
In truth, if you were baptized as a baby it was your parent’s choice and not yours. We encourage those who were christened or baptized as infants to consider getting baptized now as an understanding believer. Perhaps one can consider this a fulfillment of what their parents desired for them when they were a baby.
We will baptize older children upon their own expression of a desire to be baptized and an understanding of their own decision to follow Jesus.