WHAT IS WATER BAPTISM?
Water Baptism is an important foundation for Christian life. It declares that a person is a follower of Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of a person's faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. By getting baptized, a person is following Jesus' example and His commandment for all His disciples to be baptized (Mark 1:9-10, Matthew 16:24, Matthew 28:19-20).
In short, Water Baptism is where one person baptizes another by immersion in water. When a person is baptized, he/she is identifying with Christ's death (Romans 6:8), and so the symbolism of being buried is a public declaration of his/her dying with Christ as well as his/her identification with Him. Therefore, when a person is publicly baptized, he/she is proclaiming his/her allegiance to and trust in Christ.
How are Christians to be Baptized?
The word "baptize" comes from the Greek word "baptizo" which means "to immerse or dip under water". Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water. The book of Acts shows us that this was the norm for every believer. "Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water..." Acts 8:38,39. As per the example of Jesus, a person getting baptized should be immersed in water. "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water." Matthew 3:16.
What is the Meaning and Significance of being Immersed in Water?
Baptism is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection. A person's entrance into the water during baptism identifies his/her with Christ's death on the cross, His burial in the tomb and His resurrection from the dead.
Going down under the water is a picture of Jesus' death and burial for sin. Coming back out of the water is a picture of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Baptism shows what happens to a believer at salvation. It is a visible representation of a believer's symbolic death to sin "Going under the water was a burial of a believer's old life and all sins being washed away; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising the believer from the dead as He did Christ. Because Jesus died and rose to conquer sin, at salvation a believer dies to his/her old, sinful self and is raised to new life in Christ (Colossians 2:12-14).
A brand-new life: Water Baptism is a symbol of a new life as a Christian. We bury the "old life" and we rise to walk in a "new life". Baptism does not make a person a believer; it shows that he/she is already one! Baptism does not "save" a person; only faith in Christ does that (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is like a wedding ring, it is the outward symbol of the commitment a person has made in his/her heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis. Water Baptism is a statement to everyone who sees it that a person has trusted Christ for his/her salvation and he/she is committed to living for Him (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4).
Who Should be Baptized?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ should be baptized. The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ! "Those who accepted his message were baptized." 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 baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12.
We believe in baptizing children when they are old enough to understand what it means and able to make a personal declaration of belief.
What if a Person was Baptized but not by Immersion?
If a person was "baptized" in some fashion other than by immersion (examples: sprinkled with water, having water poured upon the head, etc.), then he/she should consider baptism by immersion. This would also include children, but only when they are old enough to understand what it means and able to make a personal declaration of belief.
There may be other reasons why a person may want to be "re-baptized". Click HERE for more information on "Re-Baptism".
How do I Sign-up to get Baptized?
Water Baptism will be available 3 times throughout the day at approximately 11:30 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in the Picnic Plaza area. You can pre-register by clicking HERE; otherwise, you can register onsite after the announcement is made at R4S that we are ready to receive Water Baptism Candidates.
Click HERE to learn more about how to prepare for Water Baptism.