What Is The Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism is an important symbol of the new life that is created when someone becomes a follower of Jesus. It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) (Colossians. 2:12).
It also illustrates my new life as a Christian. (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Romans 6:4)
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 make in your heart.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who believes in Christ should be baptized. (Acts 2:41) (Acts 8:13) (Acts 8:12)
What if I don't think It's urgent?
Some people say – why hurry – there’s no rush. There’s no urgency, no need to do it right away. It can wait. The problem is that throughout the Bible, the sequence is always the same. Hear, believe and then be baptized. Hear, believe, be baptized. In fact, one day thousands made a decision for Christ, and the Bible says that those who believed were baptized that day, which is why throughout the Bible there is never a need for delay at all. You should be baptized as soon as you believe.
What if I think I've waited too long?
Another excuse is that I’ve delayed so long that there’s been too much time between my decision for Christ and getting baptized. Maybe it’s been so long since you made your decision you’re almost embarrassed to be baptized. Because you’ve been a Christian maybe 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years. Don’t let pride get in the way of this important step of obedience that will lead to God’s blessing in your life.
Don’t let any more time go by. And by the way – you will not be alone. Every time we have a baptism -, there are several people who have been Christians for a while and are just now taking this step. So you’re not going to feel out of place at all. If anything, you’re going to be looked at with great admiration because you’re showing how seriously you take your spiritual commitments. And you’re going to be doing this for God. You’re going to be doing this out of obedience no matter what.
What if I'm not ready to join the church?
Some people believe that if they get baptized they are automatically becoming a member of The Journey. No. Baptism does not automatically make you a member of this church. Now, baptism is required if you want to become a member (either at a previous church or this one), but getting baptized does not make you a member or force you into membership at all.
Why Does The Journey Baptize By Immersion?
We baptize by immersion because Jesus was baptized that way (Matthew 3:16). Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion (Acts 8:38-39) and the Greek word baptize means “to immerse or dip under water”.
What Will My Baptism Be Like?
At the beginning of the service, one of the Pastor’s will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait in the water for your turn to be baptized. The Pastor will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water and raise you up above the water, and then you can leave the water, dry off, and watch the others. Later you will receive your baptism certificate. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
What Should I Wear?
Women should wear shorts and a top or a swimsuit. Men may wear shorts, t-shirts or a swimsuit. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
What if I want to be baptized with my family?
There are those who want to wait so they can be baptized with family members. They’ve seen some of the baptism videos – with moms and dads getting baptized with their kids together. Or husband and wives. And that does happen. And it’s cool. So maybe you’re waiting for your younger kids to get older so that you can do it with them when they’re old enough to be ready themselves. Or maybe you’re waiting for your spouse to make a spiritual decision that you’ve already made, and you want to wait until they are with you in that so that you can be baptized together. That’s not a good reason to wait. Baptism is not about your family. It’s not about your children. It’s not about your spouse. It’s a step of obedience between you and God. That’s what it’s about. And who knows, maybe the key to your loved one saying “YES” to Jesus is your courage to take the step and be baptized first.
What if my family can't come?
Every time we have a baptism – someone tells me “well I don’t want to do it until I can get all of my family here.” Some people will miss baptism after baptism because they want to make sure they have all of their family present. Moms, dads, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends. And I can appreciate that, but it’s no reason to wait. Because you’re missing the point. Baptism is not a family event like a graduation. It’s not a photo opp. You get baptized for an audience of one. It’s for God and God alone. And He’s the only person you really want there. And He will be there.
When Should Children Be Baptized?
At The Journey, 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 intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. 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. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.
What if I was baptized as an infant/child?
What if I was baptized as an infant? Does that count? And the answer is – yes and no. I’ll tell you what I mean by that. It counts in the sense that it’s a very special event that your parents went through on your behalf. And nothing in a later baptism should denigrate that or devalue that reflection of their love for you and their desire for you to embrace the Christian faith. That’s the “yes” part.
The “no” part is that an infant baptism isn’t the baptism Christ asked for. Your baptism as an infant was a sign of your parents’ faith and their desire for you to grow up and become a follower of Jesus. But it’s not a sign of your faith. You probably don’t even remember it.
So if you were baptized as an infant, you still need to be baptized as a believer. Because the baptism Jesus was after was something to be pursued as a believer, as a Christian, as someone who has crossed the line knowingly, as a self-conscious personal decision – not what their parents wanted – what you decided. Because that’s what baptism is – the sacred act which reflects what you have determined and it symbolizes your faith in Christ.
If you were baptized before you personally placed your faith in Jesus – then your baptism was not a symbol of your faith. You haven’t publicly acknowledged him before men and women as a believer. It would be like going through a wedding without having anyone to marry.
See, most churches that practice infant baptism do so in the hope that one day you will embrace the faith for yourself. And they would be the first to say that later there needs to be something that confirms it in your life when you’re old enough to decide to follow Jesus.
So – in a sense – your adult baptism would be the ultimate fulfillment of your parents faith when they had you baptized as an infant.
Throughout the New Testament, baptism always follows someone’s decision. There’s not a single case in the Bible of somebody being baptized before they made their own decision. It’s always “hear, believe, be baptized.” There’s not one deviation from that pattern in scripture. And since the purpose and meaning of baptism is to publicly confess your commitment to Christ, then if you have not been baptized as a believer following your decision for Christ, then absolutely – without a doubt – you need to be baptized.
Now some of you were not baptized as an infant – but you were baptized when you were really young. Sometimes parental insecurity – if I can be that bold – forces, pushes children toward baptism at too young of an age. The child gets baptized and the parent feels better. But the child hadn’t really made a decision to follow Jesus and didn’t really understand what baptism means. If that’s you – and you made your real decision to follow Jesus later on – you should be baptized. You may have gotten wet before, but you weren’t baptized as a sign of your faith. The point is to have baptism reflect what has happened in your life relationally with Christ. If you went through a baptism before but you weren’t really in that relationship, then it doesn’t matter what you did, or how old you were when you did it, you haven’t really been baptized into the faith as a follower of Jesus.