What is Baptism?

Baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith. A physical representation of your new life in Christ.

Baptism is a big deal!

It doesn’t make you “more godly” or “less sinful,” but it is a very important step in the life of a believer. Baptism is the outward expression of something that has already happened in your heart! It’s your big opportunity to publicly confess your love for Christ and commitment to Him as your Savior and Lord.

Baptism in the early church

In the early church, “Christ followers” were largely left alone and untouched until they were baptized. But when they were publicly baptized they became open targets for harsh treatment – even death. Baptism was the ultimate crossing of the line in the sand. But still, they came to be baptized in obedience to the Lord, unafraid and unashamed.

Common Questions

It illustrates Christ’s death and resurrection

“Christ died for our sins … He was buried … and He rose again.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

“For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” Colossians 2:12

It illustrates my new life as a Christian

“When someone 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

 “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 also we may live a new life!” 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 made in your heart.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith … it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Because Jesus was baptized that way

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16

Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion

(Example) “… then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water …” Acts 8:38-39

 The Word “Baptize” means “to dip under water.”

The Greek word baptizo means “to immerse or dip under water.”

Every person who has believed in Christ

“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized …” Acts 2:41

 “Simon himself believed and was baptized …” Acts 8:13

 “But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News … and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

At Arbor Road Church, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.

We offer Baby Dedications, sometimes called “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 and who desired to publicly confess a personal commitment to Christ.

To follow the example set by Jesus

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

Because Christ commands it

“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 then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

It demonstrates that I really am a believer

“many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” 1 John 2:3

As soon as you have believed!

“Those who believed…were baptized that day!” Acts 2:41

“Then Phillip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Phillip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Phillip baptized him.” Acts 8:25-28

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!”

I want to be Baptized

We’re excited that you want to “go public” with your decision for Christ through baptism, even if you’ve been walking with Him for a long time. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to church with you that day so they can see it too!

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