Baptism

As followers of Christ, we can proclaim our faith in Him through baptism.

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10.25.15 |

Baptism & the Lord’s Supper

Pastor Noel Heikkinen teaches on how baptism by immersion represents the new birth of a believer in Christ and how the Lord’s Supper is done in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.

Various Scriptures

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The early Christians adopted the practice of baptism after Jesus commanded it to be done (Matthew 28:18-20) to symbolize their new life in Him and to identify with His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism is a public proclamation of your faith in Jesus.

For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4

Who should be baptized?

According to the Scripture, every person should be baptized after they’ve placed their faith in Jesus. So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them. - Acts 2:41 But when they believed Philip, as he proclaimed the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he followed Philip everywhere and was amazed as he observed the signs and great miracles that were being performed. - Acts 8:12-13

Why be baptized?

It is an opportunity to obey the Lord Jesus’ command, to imitate His example, and to publicly proclaim to others that you are now a follower of Jesus.

When should we be baptized?

The example that we see in the New Testament is always immediately after someone had believed in Christ. As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s water. What would keep me from being baptized?” So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer but went on his way rejoicing. - Acts 8:36-39

How should we be baptized?

The mode was always by immersion (the Greek word “baptizo” is consistently translated “to dip or immerse”), which demonstrates our death and burial by going under the water. Rising up out of it is also a vivid picture of our new life in Christ. When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. - Matthew 3:16 Then Jesus was approached by Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, who asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “Why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said: Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple,” he does not have to honor his father.’ In this way, you have nullified the word of God because of your tradition. - Matthew 15:1-6

What does baptism have to do with salvation?

No; we are saved by grace alone, through faith. Salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned by any good works. Baptism is symbolic and simply an act of obedience to Christ. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9 he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. - Titus 3:5

Do I have to say or do anything special?

It’s really up to you. Most people take the opportunity to share something about how they came to Christ, both as a witness to anyone watching who does not know Christ and as an encouragement to fellow believers.

Why immersion (wasn't my infant baptism enough)?

In the New Testament, baptism always took place after salvation was decided and never involved sprinkling. Baptism is the best representation of our death to our old way of life (burial under the water) and our resurrection (coming up out of it) to a new life in Christ.

Do only pastors baptize people?

No. There aren’t any Bible verses that indicate only pastors should baptize. As a matter of fact, in Matthew 28:18-20 (the Great Commission passage), Jesus commanded everyone to go and make disciples, baptize them in His name, and teach them to do all of His commands. This is a cyclical passage, which allows us to obey baptism in two ways; namely that we can be baptized, and then have the opportunity to obey again and again by baptizing others as well (in order to “do all His commands”). Usually someone who was instrumental in your salvation or spiritual growth would baptize you.

Do we have to be baptized somewhere special?

Apparently not, as Acts 8 demonstrates with the Ethiopian eunuch being baptized as soon as he saw “some water.” It seems that the first century believers were baptized wherever there was enough water to do so and obeyed as quickly as they could find water.