WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Literally, the word means “to dip, immerse, place into.” Water baptism is a way of saying publicly that Jesus Christ is now your Lord. You have put your faith in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and now your life is under “new management!” It is the first step of commitment to Jesus Christ after receiving Him as your personal Savior. In ancient times, slaves were baptized into the name of the temple god to be a temple slave. When people get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:48), he/she is saying that he/she is considering himself a lifetime servant of Jesus Christ.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Every person who has believed in Christ.
“Those who believed and accepted his message were baptized...”
“Simon himself believed and was baptized...
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News... and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
At River Ridge Church, we wait until people are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. At River Ridge, we do not baptize infants, but we offer the opportunity for parents to dedicate their child to the Lord through a special ceremony. This is done periodically at the request of the parent.
WHEN SHOULD A PERSON BE BAPTIZED?
As soon as possible after accepting Christ as Savior. In Acts 16:33, the Philippian jailer was baptized quickly, sometime after midnight. Even Paul was baptized before he ate, having gone without food or water for three days (Acts 9:9,18,19). These and other examples show us that we should not put off getting baptized.
WHY GET BAPTIZED?
Because Christ commanded it.
“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.” Matthew 28:19
We become a Christian when we place our faith in Jesus who died, was buried, and who rose again from the dead. Baptism illustrates that the Risen Lord Jesus Christ is the object of our faith. In baptism, when we are placed under the water, we are testifying that we believe Jesus died and was buried. When we come out of the water, we are acknowledging that Jesus rose again from the dead.
Baptism also symbolizes our new life in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE BAPTIZED?
The meaning of the word “baptism” (“to place into”) and examples from Scripture show us that the method used was total immersion. About Christ’s baptism, Mark says, “As Jesus was coming up out of the water (Mark 1:10a).” In Acts 8:38,39 both Philip and the Ethiopian got out of the chariot and went down into the water and came out. It is recorded that John the Baptist baptized “at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water (John 3:23).”
IS BAPTISM A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION?
No. Baptism cannot save anyone (Ephesians 2:8,9). However, Jesus commanded that we be baptized as an expression of our faith and obedience.
WHAT IF I HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED?
Take some time to re-read the Bible passages listed above and then ask God what He wants you to do. If you would like to be baptized, fill out the form below