What is baptism?
Baptism is an outward sign that a person has placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. It is an act of obedience in response Jesus’ command given to his followers before His ascension to heaven (Matt. 28:19-20). When a person is baptized they are declaring their faith in Jesus Christ and in a powerful way, identifying with His death, burial as they submerged in water and His resurrection as they rise out of the water (Rom. 6:1-11; 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 2:12).
Who should be baptized?
If you’ve made a commitment to Jesus, we encourage you to follow Jesus’ command to be baptized as a public profession of your faith in him. The New Testament demonstrates that only those who trust in Jesus and have turned from sin are to be baptized. Baptism is reserved exclusively for those who have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Both Jesus and His apostles commanded that all Christians be baptized (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38). Since taking the step of baptism requires a more adult level of understanding, those seeking baptism should be of the age that the symbolism and significant of baptism is fully understood. Proverbs 20:25 reminds us about the danger of making a vow before adequate knowledge, forethought, and reflection have been given. While we do not have a minimum age when a child may be baptized, we do encourage parents to ensure their child fully understands the meaning and significance of baptism and does not make a premature commitment they may not fully understand.
When should I be baptized?
It is not uncommon to hear people say, I am not ready for baptism. This reflects an incomplete understanding of baptism. Once someone professes belief and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Bible tells us they should publicly proclaim that life change. Baptism is that public proclamation. If you recognize that your sins have separated you from God, and have given up all efforts to reach God through your own good works or religious activity, and believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for your sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between you and God, then you ARE ready to be baptized.
How is someone baptized?
At Whyte Ridge Baptist, we practice baptism by immersion. The original Greek word used for baptism in the New Testament is baptizo. It literally means “to plunge, dip, or immerse in water.” It was the same word used in the ancient Greek to describe the sinking of a ship – it was completely submerged in water. In baptism by immersion, the believer is immersed beneath the water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe this is the same way Jesus was baptized: immersed in water and then brought up out of the water (Mark 1:10; Acts 8:34-39).
What about infant baptism?
In the New Testament, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told His disciples to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. Baptism is a unique opportunity for the individuals to declare they are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. If you were baptized 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 fulfillment of your parents’ wishes. It in no way renounces the baptism you received as a child. While we do not practice infant baptism, we do encourage parents to dedicate their children.
When can I be baptized?
As soon as possible. Our desire it to help you be obedient to Christ. If you need to learn more about baptism, you can take a Baptism Class or talk with one of our staff. If you know you’re ready for baptism, please talk with one of our pastoral staff or deacons who will be glad to walk with you through the process of baptism. Click here to send an email to the church office.