Who should be Baptized?
Jesus commanded the apostles to baptize those who become his disciples. Jesus said:
“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, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19)
A disciple is one who receives and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins. He is saved not by works but by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are not saved by baptism. We are only saved through faith in the sacrificial blood offering of Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23-26)
Baptism is then the outward, physical symbol of our heart belief in Jesus Christ and his work that provides for our salvation. Only those who have made a responsible decision to trust Jesus Christ should be baptized.
When should we be Baptized?
We should be baptized after we are saved. Baptism always follows the decision to begin trusting in Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament accounts. We should be baptized soon after we are saved. In the book of Acts, baptism always closely followed conversion. Philip insisted that the Ethiopian could only be baptized if he believed with all his heart (Acts 8:36-37). The Philippian jailer was baptized after the word of the Lord was spoken to him, in response to his desperate desire to be saved. The right time for a believer to be baptized is as soon as possible. There is no need to delay if you are saved. New believers in the book of Acts were baptized on the same day.
Why should we be Baptized?
- We should be baptized because Christ set the example (Matthew 3:15-16). Since he was baptized to fulfill all righteousness then so should we.
- We should be baptized because Christ commanded it. It is part of Christ’s final orders to his Church to baptize those who become disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord.
- We should be baptized because it is part of the New Testament Church belief and practice (Acts 2:38-41). It has been handed down from the first century.
- We should be baptized as an outward, public testimony. It is a powerful open witness that we have taken our stand with the Lord (Matthew 10:32).
- We should be baptized because it represents outwardly what has happened inwardly; namely, our sins are buried and forgiven and we are living a new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-4).
How should we be Baptized?
We believe Baptism by total immersion was the practice of the early Church (Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39). Baptism by immersion illustrates the Biblical truth of our identification with Christ. Scripture states that we have been placed into the death of Jesus Christ and that we have been raised from spiritual death to spiritual life. (Romans 6:3-6; Ephesians 2:1-6). It is our understanding that immersion in water gives a beautiful picture of what is true of those who have been born again, and signifies the biblical truth. It is a testimony that we have entered into the experience and benefits of Christ’s death and resurrection. It is a recognition that the Christian is dead towards sin and alive towards God.