Baptism

Our next Baptism will take place on
September 16, 2018

Sign up online and go to the Church Employee Lounge at 9:30AM on September 16 where we will meet with you and prepare you to get baptized.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I be baptized?

To follow the example set by Christ

Mark 1:9: “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”

It is a symbol of obedience and it’s an example that we are to do what He has done. To follow Christ into the waters of baptism is to follow His call to a life of obedience to God and to others. Baptism then is an act of faith and commitment typically held in public to declare openly to all what Christ has done for us personally.

Because Jesus commands it

Christ commands that every Christian be baptized. “Jesus said, ‘Go then to all people everywhere and make them My disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-21

It demonstrates that I’m really a believer

The Bible says, “Many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8. Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. It just shows that you are a Christian.

Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. It’s just an outward symbol of an inward commitment. It is your commitment to Christ that saves you. Baptism just says to the world, “I’m not ashamed to tell the whole world what’s happened to me. I’ve given my life to Christ.”

What does baptism mean?

Baptism is a symbolic union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Paul says, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Rom. 6:3-4

Similarly, he writes, “having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead”. Colossians 2:12

Going down into the water symbolizes death to the old way of life. Coming out of the water represents being resurrected to begin a new life in Christ.

Baptism illustrates my new life as a Christian

“When anyone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

In the Bible, there is no such thing as a person claiming to be a Christian and consequently refusing baptism. Followers of Jesus were baptized as soon as they gave their life to Christ.

“By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead so we also may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4.

 Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. It shows that you already believe in Christ.

How old should children be before they are baptized?

Children need to be old enough to understand what it means to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

 It is impossible to set a precise age, but parents should see convincing evidence of an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ before entering the act of baptism.

We do not baptize infants (as possessing an unconscious faith), nor allow that the faith of their parents save them. Parents should discern when their children are genuinely concerned about obeying Christ in baptism.

Why should I be baptized by immersion?

Harbor Light practices baptism by immersion, which means to completely submerge the baptismal candidate. The reasons we do this are:

Because Jesus was baptized this way.

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:6

Jesus went down to the Jordan River, and John the Baptist baptized Him in the river. He set the example.

That’s what the word literally means.

The Greek word for baptism (bapti÷zw) used both inside and outside the Bible means, “to plunge, dip, immerse” something in water.

The Bible seems to suggest that people were baptized by immersion.

When John baptized Jesus, the text tells us “He came up out of the water” (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10). The same is said of Philip and the Ethiopian (Acts 8:39).

 We also learn from the Gospels that John the Baptist “was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23). It would not take “much water” to baptize someone if another mode of baptism were used such as sprinkling. Finally, the earliest Christian discussions outside the New Testament instructs the use of “running water” for baptism inferring immersion (Didache 7:1-4)

It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection.

Baptism portrays your desire to die to the old life and walk a new path following Jesus.

Who should be baptized?

Those who repent of their sins and express faith in Jesus should follow Christ’s command to be baptized.

Baptism is a symbol of beginning the Christian life. While faith is possible without baptism, baptism is a natural result of saving faith.

We see this pattern in the New Testament. After Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, we read, “Those who received his word were baptized”. Acts 2:41

Baptism was only given to those who “received his word” and therefore trusted Christ for salvation. When Philip preached in Samaria, we read, When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12.

Likewise, when Peter preached to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ household, he allowed baptism for those who heard the Word and received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:47-48).

These passages make clear that only those who have received the Gospel and trusted Christ for salvation should be baptized.

When should you be baptized?

As soon as you become a believer, or as soon as you realize its importance.

Maybe you’ve been a believer for a while but you didn’t realize how important water baptism was. The book of Acts says that those who believed were baptized that day.

“Phillip began with the scripture and told him the good news about Jesus and as they traveled along the road they came to some water and the man said, ‘Look! Here’s water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So he went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38.

 There is no reason to delay. After you’ve decided to receive Christ you ought to be baptized.

What’s going to happen when I get in the water?

Before you get there, the pastor will show you how to stand. When you get into the water, the pastor will ask you if you have committed your life to Christ, and are determined to live for Him the rest of your life.

Q. Have you surrendered your life to Jesus recognizing Him as the only Savior of sin?

A. I do.

 The pastor will then say, “Because of your confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you into the body of Christ in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

At this point, please cross your arms across your chest, and close your nose with your thumb and forefinger. The pastor will then quickly lean you back into the water and back up again.

 Expect the Holy Spirit to be very close to you at this time, as He was to Jesus when He was baptized. You may ask to be filled with the Spirit with the evidence of “glossalalia” or speaking in an unknown language of the Spirit.

What should I wear when I am baptized?

 We recommend darker clothing with a slightly heavier material. Use discretion and modesty, knowing that clothing will be wet. Please remember to bring a change of clothes (a hair dryer for women) and a towel.

Why should I tell “my story” before I get baptized?

First, telling “your story” gives you an opportunity to clarify in your own mind the events that brought you to this place today. Second, baptism is a public declaration of faith. Third, it gives you an opportunity to encourage others by what Christ has done for you. You may read your story, and a Pastor will stand beside you to support you.

Is it OK to be baptized more than once?

You may wish to be baptized again, to show publicly that you have recommitted your life to Christ.

What if I have a medical condition or another reason that warrants a private baptism?

Our Pastors are willing to help you. You may have a special circumstance that warrants a private baptism. We would be happy to do that for you. All you need to do is call the church and arrange a private baptism with one of the pastors.

Can my family be baptized together?

Each family member needs to be committed to Christ, and understand the full meaning of baptism. We encourage families to be baptized together.

I was baptized as a child, but I did not know what baptism meant. Can I get re-baptized?

Mark 16:1.6 says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” From this verse we see that salvation must come before baptism. If you were baptized before you understood and were convinced of salvation, then if makes sense that you should be baptized now that you understand salvation.