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What is Baptism?

Baptism is going public about your faith in Jesus and communicating to the world your heart-felt commitment to following Him. It’s the next step after salvation. If you have decided to follow Jesus but have not taken your next step of baptism, now is the time to be obedient. Here are four things you need to know about baptism to help you take your next step:

1. Baptism is about going public.

Baptism is an opportunity for us to publicly identify with Jesus! Just like we wear a team jersey when attending a sporting event, baptism is like putting on the jersey of a Christ follower. There is no such thing as a private faith; Jesus went public on the cross and baptism is our opportunity to let the world know we belong to Jesus.

2. Baptism is about being obedient.

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Notice the first command Jesus gave to His followers was to be baptized. In order to be the person God wants you to be, you can be obedient in the first step of baptism. You can’t say you will do anything for God if you won’t do the first thing.

3. Baptism comes after salvation.

In the first recorded sermon in the early church, Peter preached to a crowd of thousands. About three thousand people were saved and the first thing Peter told them to do after salvation is baptism (Acts 2:38). The pattern continues through the rest of the early church; baptism is a public proclamation of the spiritual transformation that occurs when you commit to following Jesus. The biblical example is clear: baptism comes after salvation.

4. Baptism is a powerful reminder.

Baptism is a powerful reminder of a beautiful story. It is through the act of baptism that we are reminded of the way Jesus saves us. We were once dead in our sins; Jesus found us, cleaned us up, took the punishment of sin on our behalf, and rose from the dead so that we could live with Him forever. Every time we celebrate baptism it is an opportunity to share the message of Jesus. Jesus died so that we do not have to, and He rose again so that we could live clean and righteous with Him forever.

FAQs

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 (Acts 16:31-34).

Baptism doesn’t save a person or wash away our sins.; 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?

Jesus instructs us to be baptized and set the example by being baptized (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9).

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 Journey, we wait until children are old enough to express their own decision to follow Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism.

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.