Christ The Rock Community Church
Water Baptism Online Video Teaching: Click here to watch a message about what baptism means.
Baptism Definition and Significance
When you believe with your heart and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9), you become a new creation in Christ. Your heart is washed clean by Jesus’ shed blood and your spirit is made alive by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit resides in you and you have the ability to talk with God, hear His voice, and love and obey Him in this life until the day you meet Jesus in heaven forever.
- Is a visual, symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ and His death and resurrection. It comes from the Greek Word “baptizo” which means to plunge, submerge or immerse. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death (under the water) and points to their new life, saved and redeemed by Jesus through His resurrection (coming out of the water).
- Does not save you. That can only happen through the grace of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. Baptism is a powerful symbolic demonstration of a person’s acceptance of Christ as their Lord and Savior and their commitment to becoming a disciple of Christ.
Question 1: Why should a person who comes to faith in Christ (a believer) be baptized?
Answer: To model Christ’s example and command in scripture
Jesus Himself did the will of His Father and chose to be baptized (Matthew 3: 13-17) and when we do the same, we identify with Jesus.
Christ’s example: 1 Peter 2: 21 – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps
Christ’s command: Matthew 28: 18-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Acts 2: 37-41 – When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Question 2: What is the significance of baptism to me?
Answer: A step of faith, obedience, commitment
Faith: (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) In baptism I am expressing my faith in Christ. I believe Jesus died for me. I believe He has saved me from my sins.
Obedience: (John 14: 15) By obeying Jesus’ command, I am submitting to Him and recognizing His right to be Lord of my life.
Commitment: (Mark 8: 34) In baptism I am saying publicly before God, my fellow believers, and the whole world that I have made my choice to follow and be a disciple of Jesus.
Question 3: When should I be baptized?
Answer: As soon as possible after repenting of your sin and receiving Jesus as your Savior
Acts 2:41 – Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
In Acts 8, Phillip was instructed to approach the Ethiopian eunuch who was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah. When asked, the Ethiopian admitted to Philip that he did not understand it and asked Philip to explain it to him.
Acts 8: 35-28 – Then Philip began with that very passage of 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?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Question 3: Who should be baptized?
Answer: Those who believe and confess Jesus as Savior and Lord; those who repent of sin and turn to Jesus; those who want to publicly declare that they are disciples of Jesus
In Old Testament times, many wanted to follow, obey and be associated with esteemed rabbis of the day. They would leave their families to study with, follow and model their lives after the rabbi. The rabbi would choose the best of the best from the “applicants” who wanted to follow him. Jesus says instead in John 15: 16 “It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” Jesus made the first move on the cross to choose us to be his disciples.
Question 4: What if I have already been baptized?
Answer: If you were sprinkled or immersed in water in the past, it is important to understand that you only need to be baptized once. If you trusted in Christ at that time, your baptism is real and does not need to be repeated. However, if the decision to be baptized was made for you by your parents or someone else because you were too young to make the decision on your own or you were baptized before you trusted Jesus as your Savior, we encourage you to make that decision for yourself and get baptized at this time.
Some notes on infant baptism:
- If you were baptized as an infant according to another faith tradition, we understand that it was likely a very meaningful moment for your parent(s) and family and that the intentions were good.
- At Christ The Rock, we believe it is vital that the person being baptized has put their faith and trust in Christ and His atoning work on the cross.
- It should be the personal decision of the individual (whether child or adult) to be baptized when they are ready, without pressure from family members or friends. The motivation is to please God, not other people.
- The child or adult should be able to verbalize what they believe in their own words without a parent or another person speaking for them.
- At Christ The Rock, we practice child dedications for infants and young children. This is an opportunity for parents to commit to raising their child to know, love and worship God, and for family, friends, and the church to commit to supporting the parents in that effort.
Question 5: How should a person be baptized?
Answer: Immersion in water
The Greek word “baptizo” means to plunge, submerge or immerse in water. .
The representation of union in Christ’s death and resurrection is best expressed through immersion. The symbolism of burial is still that of being placed under or below something. Likewise, resurrection is accomplished by coming out of something (like the water). Our “old” self goes down into the water and our new identity in Christ is brought up as we come out of the water.
Colossians 2: 12 – Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Romans 6: 3-4 – Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
- What should I do to prepare myself for baptism?
- Prepare yourself spiritually through prayer and by mediating on the scriptures and on Jesus’ love for you.
- Invite your family and friends. This is a significant moment in your life. Celebrate it!
- Optional: Consider sharing your testimony – the story of how you came to faith in Christ – with others via video. Don’t worry…our video people will walk you through it. Just breathe and answer the questions as honestly as you can.
- What should I wear and what do I need to bring with me?
- Bring shorts and a dark colored t-shirt to wear into the water (no bathing suits or white shirts). For outdoor baptisms, water shoes are recommended, but not required.
- Bring a towel.
- Have dry clothes to change into after the baptism.
- Consider asking a friend or family member to take pictures or video.
- Can my family or friends be baptized together?
- Yes! If each family member or friend understands fully what it means to be baptized, we encourage it! Each person who wants to be baptized should visit the CTR website, view the video, review this document and register. Just remember this is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition.
- How will this work in the service?
- At a certain point in the service, those who are being baptized will be called forward. A baptism team member will have a list of the names of those being baptized. Then follow the directions of the team member to enter the baptismal.
- Those baptizing you may ask a few questions and then they will say “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. You will be tipped backwards just enough to cover your face and then brought back up immediately. At no time will they let go of you. Feel free to hold your nose with one hand if that will help you feel more comfortable.
- After that you can dry off, change clothes, and celebrate this great moment in your life as a disciple with your family, friends and the church!