The immersion of the sinner (Romans 6:2-6) into the grave of water as direct response and obedient action toward God’s call to be a follower of Christ in accordance to His Word.
Romans 6:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
We should be baptized to follow Christ’s example (Matthew 3:13-17), to obey Christ’s command (Matthew 28:18), to accept forgiveness of sins (Acts2:38-47), to express trust in Christ (Acts 8:12-13), and it follows confession of belief and a repentant heart toward God.
It also testifies to our union with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection as a we look at God’s work in our lives (Romans 6:1-8; Galatians 3:27). Baptism serves as a “cleansing of a guilty conscience” (1 Peter 3:21). The Holy Spirit prompts individuals to recognize their sin and guilt. The “washing away” of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:27-10:7).
Baptism is the part of God’s plan that best expresses our obedience to Christ’s command to give away our life and clearly demonstrates our new commitment to Christ, in order to receive a new life in Christ and a clear conscience concerning sin ( Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:18-21)
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
All those who hear the gospel and are willing to repent of their sins, confess their trust, commitment, and belief in Christ should be baptized (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38-39; Acts 19:1-7).It is not limited to a certain group of people as shown by the example of the first Gentiles accepted into the faith (Acts 10:34-47) and the conversion of one who put Christ followers to death, Paul (Acts 9:10-19)
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
The Bible does not specify a certain age. At First Christian Church, we believe someone should be mature enough to know the meaning of baptism including the desire to become committed to following Christ.Typically older youth and adults understand this better than younger children. At First Christian Church, we do not baptize infants. Instead we ask parents to commit to raising their children for Christ (1 Samuel 1:21-29; Luke 2:21-24).
A person should be baptized at the time he or she trusts in Christ as their savior and lord. The Bible teaches we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), but in the New Testament church, a person’s baptism was always the first expression of faith, not separate from it. So baptism was not just a symbol or a memorial of faith, but was intended to offer a means of union with Christ and a benchmark of transformation, marking the place and time a person made a commitment to Christ (Romans 6:1-8). As a church we are attempting to keep to the original intent and practice of baptism according to the examples given to us in the New Testament. We believe that a person should be baptized at the point that they are ready to make a commitment to following Christ.
DO I HAVE TO BE BAPTIZED TO BECOME A MEMBER?
Any person who has trusted in Jesus as the only Son of God, confessed and repented of their sins, and who has willingly been immersed into Christ is already part of the family of God. We do not baptize for membership nor do we require anything else for membership. Any immersed believer may become a member of First Christian Church regardless of where they were baptized. If you were immersed/baptized at another location we simply ask you to either provide a letter or state your intention in front of the congregation at any service.
WHAT ABOUT BEING BAPTIZED AGAIN?
Being baptized for a second time is encouraged for those who don’t remember, were coerced, did it only as a ritual, or for any reason that they feel that their heart was not right with God at their initial baptism experience. Anyone who has fallen into sin after baptism should repent and seek forgiveness, but another baptism is not necessary (Acts 8:13-24).
It is not our desire to disregard other church’s particular beliefs regarding baptism, but it is important for Christ Followers to seek unity as part of the body of Christ (the church). We pray for unity, not division, among believers in baptism as well by attempting to follow the early church in their examples of baptism and obedience to Christ.
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