Baptism is a big deal because it is bound up with Jesus and his gospel. This connection makes it important for all who wish to be faithful to Jesus. If it’s a big deal to Jesus, it’s a big deal to us.

What Is Baptism?

Baptism is getting dunked (immersed) in water in obedience to Jesus’ command. It’s like putting on the “Jesus Jersey” because it demonstrates, very clearly, whose team you’re on.

We’re so over-the-moon about your baptism because of what we believe it says about you. We believe baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of his death and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and illustrates a release from the mastery of sin.

Why Get Baptized?

  • Jesus did (Matthew 3). He did without repentance, without confessing sin, showing that he was already clean and identifying himself with those who needed to be cleansed.
  • Jesus commands it of his followers.
    • Mark 16:16: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
    • Matthew 28:19: “Make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
  • The first Christians did.
    • Acts 2:38: “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..."

Who Gets Baptized?

Baptism is only for people who have repented from sin and are trusting in Jesus. The first reference to Christian baptism in the New Testament is in the great commission when Jesus says, “Make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). The order here is: become a disciple, then be baptized.

So close are belief and baptism related that in Mark 16:15, Jesus says, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” A person believes and is then baptized.

So, when we see people baptized throughout the book of Acts, we see repenters/believers being baptized. Peter preaches Christ crucified and the people are convicted and ask how they should respond. Peter says, “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.” “So those who received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:38, 41). The order is belief then baptism.

  • One Caveat: Baptism isn’t saving nor does it guarantee salvation.
We do want to note one caveat here, too. It’s this: baptism doesn’t save you; nor does it guarantee that you’re saved (i.e. that you’re a Christian). According to the Bible, we are saved by grace, not by works (or baptism), through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Think of the repentant thief on the cross. Jesus promised he would be with him in paradise that day (Luke 23:39-43). And yet, that thief was never baptized because he died before he could be baptized.

What Does It Symbolize?

  • Death and Life. Baptism is a drama, a lived out belief, an outward act of an inward reality. Inwardly, the reality is that you were dead and brought to life by the Spirit of God. You were given new life, new desires, and a new hope. Baptism pictures this reality. It pictures the death of the old self (by going down into the water) and then coming to life (coming up out of the water) - the old has gone and the new has come!

  • Union with Jesus. The picture is that, in baptism, one is uniting with Christ to follow Him and be like Him. In being plunged under the water and then emerging out of it, we are showing our union with Christ in that we are dying to sin (repentance) and walking in newness of life. Baptism displays our union with Christ. Jesus referred to his own looming death as a baptism, plunging into God’s wrath and rising again (Mark 10:38-39).

“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.” - Romans 6:3-4 

Union best explains Jesus’ own baptism. Jesus’ baptism functioned as an anointing from God on Jesus, confirming him to be the unique Son who bore the unique mission of redemption. But in those waters, Jesus was also brought into union with all those for whom he had entered in. The cleanser was united with those who needed cleansing.

  • Unity with Jesus’ People. And when thousands of people have union with Christ, they are united to each other. The picture of baptism is “the one entering the many” - in contrast to communion which is when “the many become one.” So Paul declares, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” - 1 Corinthians 12:13

“In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” - Galatians 3:26-28

What’s next?

If you are ready to pursue this exciting step of obedience to Jesus or you’re a child hoping to be baptized or the parent of a child who is hoping to be baptized, please register for our next baptism through the form below. After we receive your information, we will reach out to you, individually, with next steps.

To be baptized, we request you or your child participate in our brief baptism class.