BAPTISM

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
Baptism

Baptism is one of the most sacred acts in the Christian faith. In the Bible, people were baptized to proclaim publicly their faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible encourages all adult Christ-followers to do the same.

Throughout the year, we gather as a church family to celebrate with people who have made a commitment to follow Christ. The baptism service is actually a celebration; it’s a chance for the church to come together to celebrate what we’re all about: Connecting people for life change through Jesus Christ.

The Bible says that every person who believes in Christ should be baptized. A believer is someone who has realized that their sin has separated them from God. They have given up all personal efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between themselves and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you should be baptized. (see Acts 2:41; 8:12-13)

First and foremost, Christ commanded it.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:19-20).

In addition, it is to follow the example set by Jesus:

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9).

It demonstrates that you are a believer, a follower of Christ.

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)

As soon as you can after you become a believer.

“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. ” (Acts 8:35-38)

Yet it doesn’t have to occur the moment you believe. The Bible teaches that there is no reason to delay your baptism. After becoming a believer, you should participate in the next available opportunity the church provides for baptism. If you wait until you feel you are a “good enough” believer, you will never feel ready for baptism.

It is the method used in Jesus’s baptism.

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. ” (Matthew 3:16)

Every baptism mentioned in the Bible is by immersion. “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more..…” (Acts 8:38–39).

The word “baptize” means “to dip or submerge.” Immersion best symbolizes Christ’s burial and resurrection. (see Romans 6:1-11)

In the Bible, we see 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.

So if baptism signifies salvation (as the Bible teaches), only people who intentionally have received salvation should experience baptism. Thus, the Bible would indicate that baptism is for people who have made a decision to follow Christ.

If you have not experienced a believer’s baptism, even though you have experienced baptism as an infant, the full meaning and significance of baptism has yet to take place in your life. We strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ.

Adult baptism doesn’t belittle your childhood baptism; it is a fulfillment of your parents’ hopes when they had you baptized.

Baptism doesn’t make a person a Christian. Only faith in Christ does that.

Baptism is like a wedding ring; it’s the outward sign of a commitment made in your heart. (see Ephesians 2:8–9)

It illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

“…Christ died for our sins…he was buried…and he was raised on the third day.” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)

“…having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. ” (Colossians 2:12)

It illustrates your new life as a Christian.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

“We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4).

All instances of baptism in the New Testament occur following an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (see Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47-48).

At CBC , that means we wait to baptize until a child is old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism. When a child makes a decision for Christ, we then joyously baptize them in the Christian faith after conferring with the parents.

To register for our next baptism or to discuss any questions you may have, simply contact the church office at 703.222.7737 or servant@cbcweb.org.

Pastor Val or one of Community Bible Church’s elders will contact you, and provide you with upcoming dates and information for baptism classes and service dates and times.