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Baptism

Questions about water baptism?

Baptism is the Next Step that follows salvation.

WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

To follow the example set by Christ.

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John.” (Mark 1:9)


Because Christ commanded it.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19–20)


It demonstrates I am a Believer.

“This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands.” (1 John 2:3)

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?

It illustrates Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

“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…” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)

“Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)


It illustrates my new life as a Christian.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have 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… so we too may walk in a new way of life." (Romans 6:4)

WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?

Because Jesus was baptized that way.

“And after Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water.” (Matthew 3:16a)

“As Jesus was coming up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10)


Every Baptism in the Bible was by immersion.

(For example) “Then… both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” (Acts 8:38–39)


The Greek word “baptize” means “to dip or immerse.”


It best symbolizes burial and resurrection.

“Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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 a new way of life.” (Romans 6:3–4)


The founders of denominations agree:

"I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies." -Martin Luther

"The word ´baptize´ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church." - John Calvin

"Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church." - John Wesley

WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?

Baptism is an important step of obedience that shows others that someone has personally trusted Jesus for their salvation. Every person who believes in Jesus should be baptized. Having decided to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, they follow Him in baptism as a symbol of their new life in Him.


"So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them.” (Acts 2:41)

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19)


WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?

All instances of baptism follow an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation. At Salem, we wait until children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. When a child makes a decision for Christ, we gladly baptize them as a symbol of their faith in Christ.


“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.” (Acts 8:12)


“Can anyone withhold water and prevent these from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.” (Acts 10:47-48)


WHAT ABOUT INFANT BAPTISM?

In the Bible we find parents bringing children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them (parent/child dedication services are scheduled in our church to reflect this) but He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone to baptize them.


Baptism is a public profession of salvation (as the Bible teaches), and only people who have intentionally received salvation should experience baptism.


If you have only experienced baptism as an infant, the full meaning and significance of baptism has yet to take place in your life. We strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ.

WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

As soon as you have believed in Christ for salvation.


“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.” (Acts 8:12)


SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED IMMEDIATELY AFTER SALVATION?

The Bible teaches that baptism should follow your decision to become a believer. There is no reason to delay. If you wait until you are “good” enough, you will never feel ready for baptism. Since baptism is not a part of your salvation but a symbol of it, it is ok to wait until the next scheduled baptism.

CAN I GET BAPTIZED IF I HAVE ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED?

If you have not been baptized by immersion since asking Jesus into your life, your next step is baptism. If you have been baptized by immersion since asking Jesus into your life, there is no need to be baptized again.

WHAT DO I WEAR?

Dress in clothes you don’t mind getting wet (e.g. dark shirt and shorts). Remember to bring a change of clothes to wear home. There are changing rooms, towels and hair dryers available.


WHAT ELSE?

Our Baptism team will tell you when and where to show up on the Sunday of your baptism. One of the pastors will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water and then lift you back to the standing position. Next, you will leave the baptistry, change into dry clothes, and rejoin the congregation for the remainder of the service.


Later you will be given a certificate and photograph of your baptism. You can also request a DVD.


We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.