water baptism - Core beliefs
Baptism by water immersion is the outward expression of an inward work.
We believe that baptism is not the means of salvation, but it is a physical & public proclamation to the world. Going under the water and rising up & out is an illustration of how your old sinful nature has been crucified with Christ, and how He has given you new life through the power of His resurrection.
Baptism is obedience.
We believe in baptism because Jesus, Himself, was baptized. Jesus also was very clear that He wanted those who would believe on Him to be baptized (Matthew 28:19-20). Therefore, your choice to come to the waters of baptism is a clear statement of your worship & desire to always do what He did and ultimately do what pleases Him.
Baptism is a celebration.
We believe that this is a time for you and your church family to rejoice in your salvation!
When Jesus was baptized, three things happened (Luke 3:21-22):
THE HEAVENS WERE OPENED:
Your decision to obey the Lord is like a key that unlocks a fresh opening of heaven to you. In other words, there will be a new insight into the Lord’s will and way for your life as you study the Scriptures and seek Him.
THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED UPON HIM:
Expect the Holy Spirit to affect your life in new and fresh ways. If you have not yet received the fullness of the Spirit, let this be the time. As you are baptized in water, invite Jesus to immerse you in His Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).
THE FATHER CONFIRMED HIS LOVE FOR HIS SON:
Finally, listen with your heart for that intimate confirmation that provides the assurance of the Father’s love for you and your place as a child in His family (Romans 8:12-17).
“What about infant baptism?”
It must first be understood that water baptism is an outward expression that confirms an inward work & decision. Since baptism involves a choice, the Scriptures indicate that those who were baptized were of a sufficient age that they could understand what they were doing & why.
“Should a person be fully immersed or sprinkled?”
The Bible says, “Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water…” (Matthew 3:16) By this, the Sciprture seems to indicate that the Lord was baptized by immersion. However, this should not be allowed to become a point of contention with believers who have a different practice. The important this is what’s happening in the heart of the one being baptized.
Being baptized in water is a precious experience with the Lord. It should be approached with preparation, reverence, and anticipation. Coming to the waters of baptism in this way will insure that your experience is much more than just the performance of a religious rite or ritual. Instead, it will be a deep and meaningful expression of your faith in Christ and a profoundly life-changing step in your relationship with Him.