At Grace Baptist Church, we believe in Believer’s Baptism. Baptism is the public declaration that a believer makes to evidence that they have decided to follow Jesus Christ. For those who have made a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, Scripture commands that baptism is a natural and important step in giving evidence of their decision. We celebrate this important step in the life a believer.
Matthew 28: 18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What is the significance of baptism?
Baptism presents a picture. It shows us as buried with Christ (as though we had died) and were then raised again to live in newness of life. Baptism pictures death, burial and resurrection. It identifies us with Jesus who died was buried and rose again as our Saviour. Colossians 2:12 affirms this idea: "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."
So, just as Jesus willingly chose to identify with us in his death, burial and resurrection, now he calls upon us to identify with him in the symbolism of baptism. We choose therefore to be baptized as an act of obedience, because Jesus, who died for us and rose again, commanded us to do it.
Who should be baptized?
We believe that Baptism is a command of God for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ. It is an act of obedience that follows a commitment to God through Jesus Christ. We know that baptism does not save us but it does bring glory to God because we are doing what He has asked us to do.
These verses tell of the new relationship with have in Jesus Christ. It is important to note that there is no mention of baptism in this passage. It is however, an essential element of the obedient walk of a new believer and the responsibility to evidence this new relationship and commitment to the world in which we live. It is a means of identification with those who are seek to be followers of Christ. Baptism is therefore a symbol of our identification with Christ which we do as a witness before others. We speak of it as an ordinance; that which as ordained by Christ.
What if I was baptized as a baby?
Parents may have had their children dedicated or baptized with the desire and hope that their children will be followers of Christ and part of His church. This is a noble desire. We view baptism, however, as a profession of faith by the individual. For that reason a child needs to mature to the place where they can make a conscious and willful decision of their own to follow Christ and fulfill the original intent of their parents. Therefore, we practice believers baptism as expressed by the individual.
When should I be baptized?
It is clear in the New Testament that those who were baptized were “believers” before they were immersed. In Acts 16:14 we were told that after “the Lord opened Lydia’s heart” she was baptized. Later in the same chapter, the Philippian jailer was baptized (along with his household) after Paul had “spoken the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house”. Then verse 34 adds “and the whole family was filled with joy because they had come to believe in God.” Similarly, in Acts 2:41 it says that after the crowd had “believed Philip as he preached” were the men and women baptized.
Truly it was believers in Jesus Christ that were baptized. It appears to have been on of the earliest steps of obedience taken by believers in the New Testament. For the Philippian jailer it was “the same hour of the night”; for those in Acts 2:41 it was “the same day” and for Paul it was “immediately”.
Believers did not wait until they were mature enough to prove their commitment to Jesus Christ by years of faithful service. Their baptism was a clear and “first step” indication of the decision they had made to follow Jesus Christ.
It is therefore understood from our study of Scripture that baptism follows a decision on the part of the individual to surrender their life to Jesus Christ having come to understand their need for a Saviour. Upon the confession of their sin and the commitment of their lives to Jesus Christ, baptism follows as a public declaration of their new found faith. Clearly, it is not the same as infant baptism, which some practice. We also believe that baptism by immersion is that which was biblically practiced, as it clearly pictures the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the believer’s identification and commitment to being a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
We are blessed to know that you have made a decision to be baptized. We celebrate your decision and are excited about how God is working in you and leading you to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. We would be pleased to encourage you to become a part of our church family and use the gifts that God has given to you in ministering to others.
Please complete the following form to let us know of your desire to be baptized: