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WHAT IS BAPTISM?
An event where a believer in Jesus is immersed in a body of water to illustrate their death to an old way of life and rebirth to new life in Christ.
"For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ." — Colossians 2:12
"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 does not make you a believer, rather it demonstrates what 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 internally.
"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
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Every person who has believed in Jesus Christ for eternal salvation.
"Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized..." — Acts 2:41
"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 Grace, we wait until our children are old enough to comprehend the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a "baptism of confirmation" for infants or children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise the child in the faith until he or she is old enough to make a personal confession of Christ. We do not practice this custom at Grace and it is different from the baptism described in the Bible. We baptize for the purpose of helping people to publicly confess their personal commitment of faith in Jesus Christ.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
As soon as you have believed.
"Those who believed...were baptized...that day!"— Acts 2:41
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to begin a personal relationship with God through faith in Christ, you can, and should, be baptized. Please don’t wait until you feel you are a "perfect” follower of Jesus or you may never get baptized!
WHY DOES GRACE BAPTIZE BY IMMERSION?
Because Jesus, our role model, was baptized that way.
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water." — Matthew 3:16
Because baptisms recorded in the Bible were done that way. "...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." It is an excellent way to symbolize a burial and resurrection! Of course, there are certain situations where someone may be physically unable to experience immersion. We are happy to accommodate those unique situations.
CAN MY FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS BE BAPTIZED WITH ME?
Yes! If each person understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage people to be baptized together. It is a wonderful expression of unity and a powerful testimony to the work of God.
It is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family or group decision. In some cases it might be unwise to delay your baptism while waiting for others to join you. This sometimes places an undue amount of pressure on others, plus, it delays your obedience.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?
Typically, women wear a modest swimsuit and a colored T-shirt over the swimsuit. Men wear shorts or a swimsuit, and a T-shirt. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet items.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO TO PREPARE FOR BAPTISM?
Yes. We ask that you attend a brief Instruction Class which includes a Q&A session. Additionally, you’ll be given a document called, “How to Share Your Testimony.” This worksheet will give you confidence to speak at your baptism.
If you’d like to be baptized or have questions or concerns, please contact Mark Erikson, Lead Pastor at Grace Community Church at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to the privilege and joy of joining you in baptism.