No. The Bible makes it clear that we are saved only by accepting God’s free gift of grace through Jesus Christ. Salvation isn’t a reward for good things we might have done. It’s nothing we can take credit for or boast about. God saved you by His grace when you believed. It’s a gift. (Ephesians 2:8-9) While baptism is not what saves us, it is significant and meaningful in many ways. More important, Jesus commanded it! Read on to understand why.
Why should I consider getting water baptized?
It’s an opportunity to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus, himself, was baptized. Even though he never sinned, he obediently humbled himself to identify with us and give us an example to follow. (See Mark 1:9-11)
It’s an act of obedience. After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to his closest followers and gave them this command: () The mark of genuine Christianity is backing up our faith with actions so that we deepen our relationship with God and live a life that points others to Him. Baptism is one of the first steps of obedience for those who choose to follow Christ.
It allows you to go public with your faith. Baptism is a public profession of your faith in Jesus and your commitment to Him. It’s an outward, visible sign of an inward, spiritual change.
What is the meaning and significance of water baptism?
It allows you to identify with Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with his death on the cross, burial in the tomb and resurrection from the dead. “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with Him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:12-14)
It’s a celebration of your new life. When we come out of the water during baptism, it symbolizes that we have buried the old life of sin and have been raised to a new life in Christ. Here is one simple way to explain baptism: A wedding ring is a symbol of the covenant between a husband and a wife. In the same way, baptism is a symbol of our commitment to Christ. Wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make you married and removing it doesn’t end your marriage—it is simply the symbol of the commitment you made to each other. And much like a wedding is a formal ceremony where the bride and groom profess their love and commitment to each other in front of family and friends, baptism is the public declaration of your faith and your relationship with Jesus. This means that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” (Romans 6:4)
Who should be water baptized?
In the Bible, the decision to follow Jesus was always linked to the act of baptism. We believe that tradition continues to this day. “Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” (Acts 2:41)
What about infant baptism?
Some churches baptize infants and others don’t. While Christians can debate this, we should never divide over it. At BVCC, we don’t baptize infants because every baptism recorded in the Bible occurred when someone was old enough to make a faith decision. Instead of baptizing infants, we encourage Christian parents to participate in child dedication. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God to bless their children and publicly commit to raising them in accordance with Scripture. We believe in baptizing kids when they’re old enough to understand what it means and have made a personal decision to make Jesus the leader of their life. If you were baptized as an infant, it was likely a very special moment for your family. Once you come to an age when you can decide for yourself to follow Christ, believer’s baptism is the next step. Don’t be afraid to get re-baptized as an act of worship and obedience to Christ.
When should I get water baptized?
Believers in the New Testament were baptized immediately upon their decision to follow Christ. Today, that’s not always possible. But that’s okay! At BVCC, we conduct baptisms (and baptism classes) four times each year. Our church office can give you the dates and get you signed up.