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So, You’re Thinking About Baptism?

By February 20, 2024February 22nd, 2024Pastor's Note

What is Baptism?

Let’s start off with a basic answer: Baptism is a Christian action where a believer in Jesus Christ portrays his or her union with him by being immersed in water. Being lowered into water and raised out of it symbolizes joining with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection. Romans 6:3-4 says, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.”

Who Should Be Baptized?

Again, a simple answer would be: Christians. This is because baptism is an outworld display of the inward reality that a person was once dead and has now been made alive. Consider the Apostle Peter before a crowd of people who have just heard that they are separated from God by their sin and Jesus Christ can save them. They ask what they must do. Peter responds, “Repent…and be baptized” (Acts 2:37). Baptism is for everyone who has repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus. Galatians 3:27 says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

Who Shouldn’t Be Baptized?

There are three categories of people. One is people who are not yet Christians. Baptism follows repentance; first repent and believe in Jesus, then be baptized. A second category is people who are unsure if they are ready to publicly commit to following Jesus. This is a public testimony. Being baptized means you have committed to Jesus and you joyfully mark yourself as one of his followers forever. A subset of this category would be both children who are too young to separate this type of decision from membership in their family and people who have only recently come to faith. Discipleship of Jesus is a life-altering decision; time to count the cost should be taken.

Third, people who were previously baptized following their conversion to Christ should not be “re-baptized.” God means for us to have assurance of our faith. Galatians 2:20 reminds us that we live by faith in Christ, not by what we have recently done or not done. If you doubt the nature of your faith at your baptism, know that God’s grace sufficiently covers those doubts. Infant baptism is another matter. If your parents or others brought you for baptism before you were old enough to consent to this, however good their intentions may have been, you should be baptized of your own volition.

What Should My Baptism Look Like?

The New Testament word for baptize is derived from the Greek word for “immerse” under water. Every specific biblical reference to a person being baptized has them at a place with a sufficient amount of water to be immersed in. Additionally, going under water and being raised out of it best symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that believers are united to and baptism displays. Therefore, whenever possible, a Christian should be put under water.

Baptisms should also be done with the church present. This is because Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23) and he shares his authority with the gathered church (Matthew 18:20). There is a great mutual encouragement in baptism done this way—a believer is encouraged by the affirmation of the church, the church is encouraged by seeing the gospel of God in action.

What Now?

This is a great question to ask! If you have recently put your faith in Jesus Christ or if you are a Christian, but have not been baptized following your conversion, you should talk with a pastor/elder about whether or not baptism is the right step of discipleship for you at this time. We can set up a meeting to celebrate God’s grace in our lives, encourage one another, and talk about baptism and discipleship plans. 

Adam Fix

Adam has a passion for preaching God’s Word and seeing people come to know the joy of life with Jesus. Nothing excites Him more than pursuing the glory of God. He is originally from Minnesota, but received his Master of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary in Colorado. Adam enjoys reading, sports, movies, and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Holly, have two daughters.

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