The Whys? And Hows?
Christian Baptism At Calvary Church Port Orchard
Christian Baptism is a very significant event in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. Often, many are confused about whether they should be baptized. Some don’t understand what water baptism symbolizes, how it is done, what happens in their Christian life after they are baptized, etc. As you prepare for the upcoming baptism, I would like you to read and consider the following to help you in determining if this is the time for you to take part in water baptism.
Q – Why do Christians take part in water baptism?
A – The Lord commanded the disciples to baptize believers:
MAT 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Q – What must I do before being baptized?
A – Believe with all your heart that Jesus is your savior and be willing to confess it with your mouth
ACT 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Rom 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Q – If I was baptized in a church when I was a baby, or when I was older but didn’t really believe in Jesus as my savior, should I be baptized again?
A – Yes, if you were baptized for the wrong reason or before you knew what it meant to be a Christian then you should be baptized again.
ACT 19:3-5 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Q – Why does Calvary Church baptize by completely immersing in water?
A – Because this is what was done in the early church.
Acts 8:38-39 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. (NKJ)
Q – What is symbolized by complete immersion?
A – Total immersion is symbolic of your desire to die to yourself. As you go down in the water, it is as if you are burying the “old you.” As you come out of the water, it symbolizes the eternal life that Jesus gives those who believe.
ROM 6:3-4,6 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (NKJ)
Q – Do I have to be baptized to be saved from my sins?
A – No. You are saved first and then baptized.
Acts 10:45-48 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. (NKJ)
Q – Should I get baptized if I am not sure I am saved?
A – No, If you are unsure that you are going to heaven, or if you cannot explain why you will go to heaven when you die, then you may not be a Biblical Christian and should not get baptized. Please talk to your parents and/or pastor Kevin if you are unsure of your life in Christ. The Bible makes it clear the true Christian can know they have eternal life.
I Jn 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (NKJ)
Q – Do I have to give a testimony at the baptism?
A – Yes. The Lord Jesus said that if we confess Him before man, then He will confess us before the Father. Therefore, you will be given a time to profess your love and devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ prior to actually being immersed in the water for baptism. This confession of your simple faith in Christ should be from your heart and does not need to be polished. Your parents or Pastor Kevin can help you with your confession if you are struggling with the words to express your devotion to Christ. If you are unwilling to make a public confession of your faith in Christ, then you may want to put off being baptized at this time. Please write out your testimony and give it to pastor Kevin at least one week before the baptism.
Matt 10:32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (NKJ)
Q – What is meant by “giving a testimony”
A – A testimony is a verbal explanation of how a person came to know that Jesus is their savior. Everyone will have a different testimony since the facts surrounding their conversions are never the same. However, all testimonies should include the following ingredients of true salvation:
How you came to the realization you were a sinner, your acceptance that you deserved to have been judged by God and sent to hell for those sins, how you came to the understanding that God so loved you that He sent Jesus to take the judgment you deserved, and your belief in and love for God and your desire to serve Him now that you realize He saved you from eternal damnation. You can see a Biblical example of a salvation testimony in Acts 26:1-28.
Q – Will my life change as a result of baptism? Will baptism take away the temptations of sin that I experience?
A – Not necessarily. Some Christians do experience a greater depth of devotion to God following their act of obedience in taking part in water baptism. Others hope for this deeper spiritual strength, but don’t experience it. The Christian walk is one of faith and not feeling. There is always benefit in obedience to God. Sometimes deeper feelings and emotions are part of the benefit, others will only benefit by knowing they were obedient to the Master who saved them from their sins.
Q – What do I do to prepare for the day of baptism?
A – You will need to bring clothing that you will be wearing as you are immersed in water. This attire should be modest. If you don’t own swimming attire, then shorts, shirts etc., which will be modest when wet, should be worn. There will be a place to change clothes at the baptism location.
Those attending the baptism will spend some time in worship to God. Pastor Kevin will explain the reason for baptizing and then will invite those being baptized to come forward, one at a time. When you are called, you will give your testimony, and pastor Kevin will pray for you and assist you in being immersed in the water and lifting you up. You will then go out of the water and dry off with a towel (that you bring). If the baptism is being done in the cold, you will be encouraged to go to a changing location to dry off and get into a dry set of clothing. If done in the summer you may want to watch as others are baptized or go to the changing location to change.
Please feel free to call Pastor Kevin at the office (360-876-7288) if you have any questions about the above.