When people want to follow Jesus and be part of God’s family to bless the world and do his work we invite them as Jesus did to be be baptised and declare publicly, “I’m all in!”. So what exactly does it mean to be “ALL IN“ or be baptised?
In a nutshell, baptism is “An outward sign of an inward change”.
WHAT IS BAPTISM ABOUT?
Baptism illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection which is central to our faith and hope.
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… and He rose again.” 1 Cor. 15:3-4
“For when you were baptised, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” Colossians 2:12
It illustrates my new life as a follower of Christ.
“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 Cor. 5:17
“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 also we may live a new life!” Romans 6:4
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer, but rather, it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you. Only Christ does that and we receive that gift by faith. Baptism is like a wedding ring, it’s the outward sign of an inner commitment you make 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
WHY BE BAPTISED BY IMMERSION IN WATER?
Jesus was baptised this way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptised, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
Baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(Example) “…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38-39
The word Baptise means “To dip under water”. The Greek work Baptizo means “To immerse or dip under water”. It best symbolised a burial and resurrection.
Historical church leaders agree:
Martin Luther… “I would have those who are to be baptised to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin… “The word ´baptise´ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley… “Buried with Him, alludes to baptising by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTISED?
Every person who has believed in Christ should try and be baptised as much as it is possible.
“Those who believe and accepted His message were baptised…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptised…” Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News… and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
If the purpose of Baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, you may well be asking yourself, “What was the significance of my Baptism as a baby?” In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptise them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptise them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust and follow Christ alone.
If you were baptised as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your Baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfilment of your parents’ wishes. It in no way repudiates the Baptism you received as a child.
You do not have to be baptised to have Christ in your heart any more than you must exchange rings to be pronounced man and wife. But if the inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of Baptism should be as valued and as visible as the ring on a newlywed’s finger.
At THRIVE COMMUNITY, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptise them. We let parents discern with their own children when they are ready.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. At THRIVE we encourage parents to ‘DEDICATE’ their children to the LORD.
This is different from 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.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTISED?
As soon as you have believed that Jesus is LORD.
“Those who believe…were baptised…that day!” Acts 2:41
“Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they travelled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ´Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptised 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 they went down into the water and Philip baptised him.” Acts 8:35-38
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should feel confident to be baptised. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel “good enough”!
CAN MY FAMILY BE BAPTISED TOGETHER?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ as LORD of their life and Saviour, we encourage families to be baptised at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptised should understand clearly what they are doing.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BAPTISM?
At the beginning of the baptism the pastor or leader will briefly explain the meaning of baptism to everyone present. You will wait at the edge of the water for your turn to be baptised. The pastor or another leader will introduce you. Then you can proceed into the water.
We will pray briefly with you and then with hands on your head or shoulder help you go down into the water. When you come up out of the water it is not uncommon for people to cheer and celebrate with you your commitment to Christ. You can then leave the water, dry off, watch and celebrate with the others. Later you will be given a certificate of your baptism to remember this important occasion.
BAPTISM STATEMENT OF AFFIRMATION:
We ask you to verbally affirm at the service the following statement.
“I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord & King of my life and that by his grace I am forgiven and I accept his invitation to live a life of faith trusting him to lead me in His Kingdom life all the days of my life.”
At the baptism service we will invite up all those who will be baptised together to say this statement as a group. You will not be embarrassed or singled out unless you have a prior arrangement to say something else.
In summary, a great way to think of baptism in a single sentence is;
‘An outward sign of an inward change’ in which we declare, “I’M ALL IN with God’s good news for the whole world”.
Want to be baptised? Fill in a form or email us.