Why get baptized?
1. Because you want to follow Christ's example.
"At that time Jesus come from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river." (Mark 1:9 NIV )
2. Because Christ commanded it.
"Jesus said "Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commaned you." (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
3. Because it shows you are a believer.
"...many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized." (Acts 18:8 NIV)
4. Because obeying Christ's command shows you know Him.
"We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands." (1 John 2:3 NIV)
The meaning of baptism
1. It is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection
"Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again." (1 Corinthians 15:3,4 NIV)
2. It is a symbol of your new life as a Christian.
When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Baptism does not make you a believer, it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring-It's the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8,9 NIV)
How are we to get baptized?
1. Like Jesus was baptized-by being immersed in water.
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water." (Matthew 3:16 NIV)
2. Every baptism in the Bible was immersion under water.
"...then both Philip eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water..." (Acts 8:38,39 NIV)
3. The word "Baptize" or baptizo (Gk) literally means to "to dip under water"
4. It is the best way to picture a burial and resurrection.
The founders of the denomination agree:
Martin Luther-"I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies."
John Wesley-" Buried with Him, alluding to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ.
"Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized." (Acts 2:41 NIV)
"But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News...and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Acts 8:12 NIV)
When are we to be baptized?
The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ! We do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe.
As soon as you have believed! You shouldn't delay!
"Those who believed...were baptized that day!." (Acts 2:41 NIV)
"Then Philip began with the Scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "look here is water! Why shouldn't I be baptized right now?" Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." The official answered, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." (Acts 8:36-39 NIV)
There is no reason to delay. As soon as a person decided to believe in Christ, he can be and should be baptized.
What about being baptized twice?
Our church recommends that you be baptized again if you have not been baptized by immersion since you became a believer. It doesn't devalue a prior experience but simply reflects your desire to be baptized in the same way Jesus was baptized. Every Abundant Life Church member has been baptized by immersion as Jesus demonstrated and commanded us to follow.
Can our family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment.
For more information please contact the church office at 540.869.7442.