The Importance of Being Baptized
I. Why Should I Be Baptized?
A. Because Christ Commands it.
(Matthew 28:19-20) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
B. To follow the example set by Christ.
(Mark 1:9) "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan."
C. It demonstrates that I really am a Believer.
(Acts 18:8) "...many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized."
(1 John 2:3) "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."
II. What is the Meaning of Baptism?
A. It illustrates Christ’s Death, Burial, and Resurrection.
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4) "Christ died for our sins... He was buried...and He rose again."
(Colossians 2:12) "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
B. It illustrates my New Life as a Christian.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away: behold, all things are become new."
(Romans 6:4) "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life!"
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer — it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring — it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.
(Ephesians 2:8-9) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God : not of works lest any man should boast."
III. Why Be Baptized By Immersion?
A. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
(Matthew 3:16) "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water..."
B. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(Acts 8:38-39) "...and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip..."
The word "Baptize" is a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo means "to immerse or dip under".
C. It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther- "I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies."
John Calvin- "The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church."
John Wesley- "Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."
IV. Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has Believed in Christ.
(Acts 2:4) "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized…"
(Acts 8:13) "Simon himself believed also: and…he was baptized..."
(Acts 8:12) "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."
At Val Verde, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. Some churches practice a "baptism of confirmation" for children. This ceremony is for many what they consider Christian or Bible baptism. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. "Confirmation" is not baptism. The purpose of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ, therefore only someone who has been born again may partake of the ordinance. At Val Verde, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were "confirmed" as children.
V. When Should you be baptized?
A. As soon as you have believed!
(Acts 2:41) "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls!"
(Acts 8:35-38) "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. ."
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are "perfect", you’ll never feel "good enough"!
B. Can my family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with our pastor for a pre-baptism conversation.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
C. What should I wear when I am baptized?
We provide baptismal robes that are very modest. The robes come in many sizes and are available for men, women, and children. You need to bring a change of undergarments and a comb or brush. Towels are provided.
D. Will I have to say anything?
Yes. At the beginning of the baptism service, the person baptizing you will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait at the edge of the pool for your turn to be baptized. Pastor Stancil or another member of our staff will assist in you in the water. The Pastor will ask you if you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior any you will have to give testimony of your conversion. Later you will be mailed a certificate of your baptism. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
(Acts 8:36-38) "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him."
E. Special Needs?
Any person who has special needs will be assisted by a staff member so that you can be baptized.