Baptism is going public about your faith in Jesus and communicating to the world your heart-felt commitment to following Him. It's an important step along the journey for every Christian after salvation.
People often have questions regarding baptism: Why should I be baptized? What if I’ve already been baptized—do I have to do it again? Does it matter if someone is sprinkled or dunked? Below are a few answers to some questions about baptism (by John Weirick):
1. What is baptism?
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It’s a public declaration of how Jesus changed your life. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you
Baptism doesn’t save a person; it’s a symbol and celebration of salvation (1 Peter 3:21). The power that brought Jesus back to life is the same power Jesus uses to change our lives – and that’s worth getting excited about!
2. Why should I be baptized?
Obedience to Jesus shows we believe and follow Him.
(1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we can go public about our love for Him. Being baptized shows that we turn away from a life of sin toward Jesus, the only one who can change us (Acts 2:38-41).
3. When’s the best time to be baptized?
For everyone who decides to follow Jesus, baptism is the next step. Anyone who commits his or her life to following Jesus is ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12).
4. Do you baptize children?
As parents, we can help point our children to Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him (Romans 10:9).
Any instance of baptism follows a person’s decision to trust Jesus for his or her salvation and commitment to follow Him (Acts 10:47-48). At GO Church, we wait until children are old enough to express their own decision to follow Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism.
If your child has already asked Jesus into his life, explain what baptism is and what it means. Facilitate the conversation, but don’t dominate it.
5. What’s the difference between immersing, sprinkling and other ways of baptizing?
Baptisms in the Bible were by immersion. The original word for baptism most often referred to being immersed or submerged in water. Jesus was baptized by being immersed in the water and rising out of it (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10).
Submersion in the water symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Being submersed underwater represents our death to sin and old way of life, and being raised out of the water is a picture of how Jesus raised us and gave us a fresh start in life (Romans 6:3-5).
6. Do I need to be baptized again?
If you haven’t been baptized by immersion since you decided to follow Jesus, we want to help you take your next step of being baptized. Once you’ve taken that step, there’s no need to be baptized again.
God never asks us to take a next step that isn’t good for us. He always gives us more than we deserve or can imagine, including the joy we receive from listening to Him and doing what He says.
At GO Church, we schedule baptism for every 5th Sunday. However, depending on circumstances, we are willing to have baptisms outside of our normal schedule. If you are ready to be baptized, please sign up on the Interest Sheet at our Information Table. Our pastor would love to personally talk with you about this important step on your journey.