Almost all Christian churches practise baptism, but Baptist churches and others reserve this sacrament for believers. The believer ought to be able to make a credible profession of faith, understanding the gospel, publicly testifying to their faith in Christ and understanding what baptism is about. The believer is usually immersed in water, except where medical reasons would warrant another method.
Jesus expected His followers to be baptised. He himself was baptised by John and He told His apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 28:19.
In the book of Acts we have the three thousand converts at Pentecost obeying Peter’s command to repent and be baptised Acts 2: 41. We have many stories of individuals, families and groups believing and being baptised in Acts so it is quite evident that this was the practice in the early church.
We know we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, not by any ritual. However Christ has commanded that those who have experienced this grace and faith should demonstrate it in baptism. The practice of believer’s baptism by immersion seemed to be used by Paul in Romans 6 where he says, “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father we too may live a new life.” Verses 3,4.
So Baptism by immersion symbolises our dying to sin as we come to Christ, confessing and turning away from them. Then coming out of the water symbolises the new life we have in Christ. As water washes the body so this act symbolises our spiritual cleansing.
If you would like to be baptised please come and see me sometime.
Pastor Steve Shooter