About Baptism

An outward expression of an inward decision

“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized.”
Acts 8:13

If you would be interested in being baptized or would like to speak to one of our leaders about baptism, please fill out our Contact Us Form and check the box pertaining to baptism. Once we receive your request, we will contact you shortly.

..:: Why should I be baptized?

To follow the example set by Christ

Mark 1:9 “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Why was Jesus baptized? In order to save Him? No, He didn’t need to be saved. He was perfect. Baptism doesn’t save you. It is a symbol of obedience and it’s an example that we are to do what He has done.

Because Christ commands it

Christ commands that everywhere Christians be baptized. “Jesus said, `Go then to all people every and (1) make them My disciples, (2) baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and (3) teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” These are the three things the church is commanded to do: Make disciples — help people come to know Christ; Baptize them; Help them grow up. Many people think, “I’ll be baptized after I’ve grown up. After I know about the Christian life, then I’ll be baptized.” No, it’s right after you make the decision to follow Christ. Notice the order: You make the disciples, then you baptize them, then you spend the rest of your life growing as a Christian.

It demonstrates that I’m really a believer

The Bible says, “Many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. It just shows that you are a Christian. A wedding ring doesn’t make me married, it is a symbol of a commitment that I made that made me married. One day I made a commitment to my wife before God and a bunch of people and I said “I do” and I gave my life to her in front of God for the rest of my life. That commitment is what makes me married, not the ring. If I were to lose this ring, I’d still be married. What this is, is an outward symbol of an inward commitment.

Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. It’s just an outward symbol of an inward commitment. It is your commitment to Christ that saves you. Baptism just says to the world, “I’m not ashamed to tell the whole world what’s happened to me. I’ve given my life to Christ.”

..:: What is the meaning of baptism?

It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.

“Christ died for our sins. He was buried and He rose again.” the Bible says “For when you were baptized you were buried with Christ and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” At New Life we baptize the way they did in the Bible — putting people all the way under the water. It is a symbol of a burial and resurrection. Just like Jesus Christ died and was buried in the ground for three days and then rose again.

Baptism illustrates my new life as a Christian.

Corinthians 5:17 “When anyone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun.”

In the Bible, there was no such thing as a person claiming to be a Christian and not be baptized. It was automatic. You were baptized as soon as you gave your life to Christ.

In the end, baptism doesn’t make you a Christian, it is a declaration of your belief. “By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead so we also may live a new life.”

..:: Who should be baptized?

“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized.” Acts 8:13

“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

At New Life, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. There is only one qualification in the Bible to be baptized. You’ve got to believe in Christ. Obviously you’ve got to be old enough to understand what that’s all about. There are many churches that practice the baptism of confirmation. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own confession of faith. This custom only began about 300 years after the Bible was finished. It’s not in the Bible. It’s just a tradition. This is different than the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. At New Life, it is a membership requirement. Every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were confirmed as children.

Why do we do that?

Jesus commanded the church to do it. He said, “Go baptize.”
It’s a symbol that you are a member of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:13.

..:: When should you be baptized?
As soon as you become a believer. Or as soon as you realize its importance. Maybe you’ve been a believer for a while but you didn’t realize how important it was. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” In Acts it says those who believed were baptized that day.”Philip began with the Word and told him the good news about Jesus and as they traveled along the road they came to some water and the man said, “Look! Here’s water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The man answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”There’s nothing special about the water. The water in the pool is not holy. What is holy is the faith of the people. It’s not where you’re baptized. It’s why you’re baptized — to publicly say, “I am an adult consenting follower of Christ.” There’s no reason to delay. After you’ve decided to receive Christ you ought to be baptized.

..:: Why do we baptize by immersion?

Why do we believe and practice at New Life that you should be baptized by immersion? Four reasons.

Because Jesus was baptized that way.

We want to do it the way they did it in the Bible. It says “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” He went down to the Jordan river. John the Baptist baptized Him in the river. He set the example.

Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.

Example “Then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Then they came up out of the water.”

That’s what the word means.

“Baptize” literally means “dip under water.” The Greek word baptize means to dip under water.

It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection.

The founders of denominations agree about this.
Martin Luther (Lutherans) said, “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”

John Calvin (Presbyterians) “The word `baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

John Wesley (Methodists) “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”

..:: Some common questions about baptism

What do you wear when you’re going to be baptized?

Whatever you feel comfortable in. If you’re a woman, maybe a one-piece swim suit with a dark t-shirt over the top simply for modesty. Men should wear a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Feel free to wear appropriate footwear. We encourage you to wear a swim suit underneath the baptismal robe you will wear which will be provided.

Can my family be baptized together?

Yes. If each family member understands the full meaning of baptism and has personally accepted Christ as their Savior, then we encourage families to be baptized together.

** Younger children who wish to be baptized are asked to have a meeting with their parents and the Pastor Greg for a pre-baptism conversation. They will sit down with you and your child and, in simple terms, explain what it’s all about so they can understand the meaning of baptism.

Will you have to say anything at your baptism?

At the beginning the pastor will briefly explain the meaning of baptism, then he will ask you to come forward and introduce you. He will ask you if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ. You simply respond “yes”. That’s it. You will wait at the edge of the water for your turn to be baptized then the pastor, staff member, or elder will introduce you, briefly lower you under the water, then you can leave the water, dry off and watch the others. Later you will be mailed a certificate of your baptism. This is to help you remember your baptism. We also encourage you to get invitations you can mail out to friends and relatives inviting people to your baptism.

Is it ok to be baptized more than once?

Often, people wish to be re-baptized as a sign of their adult commitment, a re-commitment to Christ, a statement of their connection with our local church, or as a part of joining their family during a special time of celebration. If you have been baptized by immersion after receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, we do not encourage you to be baptized again.

Special circumstances

Sometimes there are special circumstances, such as fear of water or health related issues, that require special provisions. If that applies to you, we are understanding and sympathetic. We will do everything we can to help you feel comfortable, make you feel safe, and to provide a positive baptismal experience for you. We have baptized people using wheelchairs at the local YMCA & have had lay ministers baptize soldiers in Baghdad! We will make every effort to accommodate your special need.

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