WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Jesus commanded His followers to be baptized, but what exactly is baptism all about?
A public proclamation:
Just as a man and woman gather friends and family to proclaim their love for one another at a wedding, a person being baptized invites his or her friends and family to witness as they publicly proclaim their love for and commitment to follow Jesus. It is a very practical way to go public with your faith.
A meaningful ceremony:
In baptism, a person identifies themselves with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a person stands in the water to be baptized, they signify their humility and submission by allowing the person baptizing them to submerge them in water – just like the humble death of Jesus. Just as Jesus was buried (hidden) in the tomb, the one being baptized is buried (hidden) in the water. But it doesn’t end there. As the person is raised up out of the water, we are reminded that Jesus was raised, by God, to new life! This is a reminder of our hope of new life in Jesus – here and now, and in eternity.
A line in the sand:
Although salvation doesn’t occur through the act of baptism, it is a powerful moment in a person’s Life. We give out certificates of baptism as a reminder of the decision and proclamation that has been made. Many people experience a change of heart or attitude at the moment of baptism and say, “something changed in me that day”. It is a new start for many. As they look back years later, that moment is a reminder to them of the stand they took because of the solemn decision they made.
Baptism is not a solemn occasion. For us, it is a celebration. At LifeBridge, we love to cheer for those whose lives are being transformed and who are proclaiming their new faith in Jesus. If you would like to be baptized, simply check the box on your Connection Card at church, or call the church office. We will get you signed up for the next opportunity.
Check out what the Bible has to say about baptism:
Here are a few basic LifeBridge baptism FAQs and answers:
Do you baptize children?
We have a ceremony called Family Dedication for infants and young children. Baptism is a way for someone who, in good conscience, has personally decided to receive Jesus Christ and follow Him by faith. If a child cannot explain why they want to be baptized, I am reluctant and may even refuse to baptize them. Children should not be confused by baptism, rather, baptism should be a sound affirmation for one who has made a deep, sincere faith commitment to Jesus.
What if I have already been baptized?
You do not need to be baptized again. Some people, however, claim that for one reason or another, their first baptism was not meaningful to them. Either they don’t remember it because they were baptized as an infant, or it was not their choice, or maybe they agreed to be baptized even though they had not really made a sincere, personal decision to follow Jesus. A few people have even felt as if they had walked away from the faith and they wanted to re-commit their lives and signify it through being re-baptized. It is not wrong to make another public profession of faith, neither is it necessary. It is simply an issue of choice.
Can I go to Heaven if I have not been baptized? Will being baptized ensure that I will go to Heaven?
Salvation is a matter of faith, not works. There is no action that you can do to earn a place in Heaven, or avoid to miss out on Heaven. Each of us is saved by God’s power (grace) which is activated through our faith in Jesus Christ. Being baptized does not guarantee you a place in Heaven. By the same token, since faith in Jesus is the only true requirement for salvation, if you are not baptized you will not, for that reason, be excluded from eternal life with Jesus. Baptism is a commandment of Jesus, however, and faith requires obedience. One should be baptized as soon as possible once they have begun their faith journey.
What do I wear to be baptized?
We suggest you wear a bathing suit with shorts. If you let us know that you plan on being part of the baptism experience, we will provide a LifeBridge Baptism t-shirt. Whatever you are wearing will get wet, so please take that into consideration. You should also bring a towel and a full set of clothing to change into after the baptism.
What time should I be there?
Please be at the location of the baptism ceremony at least 20 minutes before the baptism service is scheduled to begin.
How should I prepare?
Our intention is not to embarrass you, but since baptism is all about a public profession of your own faith, we would like you to share just a 30 second or so testimony about what God is doing in your life. You can recite/read a scripture that has been very meaningful or even acknowledge someone who has been a big influence in your decision to follow Jesus. Just share with us what this act of obedience means to you.
Whom should I invite?
As stated above, baptism is a lot like a wedding. It’s a time to publicly proclaim your love for and devotion to Jesus. I would suggest inviting anyone who can celebrate this with you – friends, family, co-workers, etc. You may also want to invite people who need to know that this is your decision and the direction you will be going with your life.
Can someone besides the pastor baptize me?
Absolutely! If there is someone who has been a spiritual influence in your life, we would be happy to have them baptize you. You can also choose to have two people baptize you – we will just put one on each side. The only thing we require is that the person baptizing you has him/herself been baptized and is living for Jesus themselves. We have even had a husband baptize his wife right after he himself was baptized.