Water Baptism

Water Baptism

Water baptism is a significant milestone in the life of every Christian. We believe that water baptism is a biblical teaching and sacred practice for true followers of Christ. 

While baptism itself has no power to cleanse or save from sin, it is an important step of obedience in a believer’s life as an outward acknowledgment of the salvation experience that has already taken place. 

The act of immersion and emerging from the water represents the death of our old self, and mirrors the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Indeed, Jesus Himself emphasized the importance of water baptism when He gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 "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." (NKJV)

Click here to download the Water Baptism Form.

Baptism FAQ

Where does it say in the Bible that we should be baptized in water?


a. Jesus Himself was baptized by John in the River Jordan at the age of 30 just before the beginning of His public ministry, leaving behind an example for his followers. (Matt. 3:13-17).
b. Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection and just before He was taken up to heaven that they should go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that He had commanded them (Matt. 28:18-20).
c. The disciples obeyed Him and preached baptism along with the gospel (Acts 2:38). When people repented from their sins and believed in Jesus, they were baptized in water (Acts 2:41; 8:12,38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15,33; 19:5; 22:16).


Who are the ones who should be baptized?

When Jesus told the apostles to baptize people, He meant those who had been made disciples (Matt. 28:19). When Peter preached the gospel on the day of Pentecost, he told people to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).

When the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip whether he could be baptized, Philip replied that he could if he believed in Jesus with all his heart (Acts 8:37).

In other words, it is people who have repented from their sins, believed in Jesus as their Saviour and decided to follow Him as His disciples, who should be baptized in water. We can also say in another way that only those who have been born again should be baptized, because those who repent from their sins and believe in Jesus are born of God (1 John 3:9;4:7;5:1,4).

 

Why should we be baptized in water after we are born again?

In simple words, to obey what Jesus commanded, and to testify to what Jesus has done in our life and how we have decided to follow Him.

It is also an outward action of the inward change in us.

 

What is the meaning of water baptism?

Baptism is symbolic of the burial of our "old man" and the coming to life of the "new man."

When a man is immersed into water, he is identifying with the death and burial of Jesus Christ. And through the work of the Cross, he is testifying that his old, sinful way of life is dead and is fit to be buried.

As he comes out of the water, he identifies with the resurrection of Christ into the newness of life, and signifies that he is now a new man with the life of Christ in him (Rom 6:3,4). By going through this act he is signifying that from then on, he wants to live with a clear conscience before God (1Pet. 3:21).

 

What is the right mode of baptism?

In the days of Jesus and the early days of the church, it is generally accepted that baptism meant immersion or dipping, because that was the meaning of the Greek word (baptisma) that has been adapted into English.

 

Does it really matter how one is baptized?

If you do not have any physical difficulties or any health reason, total immersion in the water is the way Jesus received His baptism. Immersion gives the symbolic picture of "burial" and "resurrection."

 

Who has the right to baptize others?

As we have seen, Jesus Christ gave His commission to the disciples; so the authority to baptize rests with the local church. While any believer can be authorised by a local church to baptize people, this is usually done by the Pastor or Elder of the church.

 

In what name should we be baptized?

Jesus said that very clearly to His apostles (Matt. 28:19). We are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In order to be very specific so that people will not have any doubt, we could say, "In the name of God the Father, the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit."

 

Does one have to be baptized in order to be saved?

When a man repents from his sins and believes in Jesus, his sins are forgiven (Rom. 10:9-10). He is saved from the guilt of his sins.

Then he can testify through baptism what he has already experienced. Baptism follows this part of salvation, that is, the forgiveness of sins. It is not baptism that brings the forgiveness of sins, but repentance and faith in Jesus.

Those whose sins are forgiven can go to heaven even if they have not been baptized in water, like the thief who repented and believed in Jesus while hanging on the cross (Luke 23:39-43). However, this should be the exception rather than the norm.

 

The Bible says what matters is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6). Why make a fuss about an external thing like baptism when what is really important is faith?

It is true that faith is more important than baptism. However, one must understand that true faith will produce true action, which is the baptism act. Moreover baptism was important enough for Jesus to have insisted on being baptized (Matt. 3:13-15).

He said that it was necessary for Him to get baptized in order to be able to do everything right. He wanted to give us an example in this also. If we want to obey all that Jesus has commanded, we will also want to be baptized.

 

I was baptized when I was a baby. Now I have become a believer in Jesus. I don't think I need to get baptized again!

Water baptism should follow after repentance and a decision to place one's faith in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. True water baptism is always a "believer's baptism" as demonstrated in the New Testament.

The baptism of an infant is the decision of the parent. Since infants cannot repent or place their faith in Christ, infant baptism would become just a ritual. If you were baptized as an infant, you need to be baptized since you did not make a conscious choice as a disciple of Jesus.

In other words, that baptism you had gone through was not a declaration of your faith in Jesus and therefore not meaningful to you.

 

I was baptized as an adult. But now I see that I was not really born again at that time. I was only doing only what I saw others doing. Should I get baptized now?

Baptism is a testimony which only believers in Jesus can experience. You should be baptized after you have been born again. If you feel strongly to go through baptism again, but this time as a conscious choice, you should make the effort.

 

I was baptized as a believer long ago. But I backslid and went back to a sinful life. Now I have repented and come back to Jesus. Should I get baptized again?

There is a place for acknowledging your repentance from your backsliding but there is no need to be baptized once more.

However, it is also possible that some people were really not born again in the first place to begin with, therefore they should be baptized again if they want to re-affirm their born again commitment to Christ.

 

I was baptized as a believer long ago. But I realise now that my commitment to the Lord has not been deep, and I have fully rededicated my life to the Lord. Should I get baptized again?

When you make further progress in your Christian life, though you must rededicate your life more fully to the Lord each time, there is no need to be baptized again and again.


If I get baptized, I may be thrown out of my home and my church. Should I get baptized secretly?

Baptism is a public testimony before the whole world and that is the best way to do it. The other thing is that we must not be afraid of facing opposition when we decide to follow Jesus.

However, there are times when one has to act wisely rather than do things recklessly.

Do seek counsel from your church leaders. 

 

I have just been baptized in water, but I don't feel any different. What is wrong?

Since baptism is a testimony of your outward act of faith of what God has already done in your life (refer to Question 4), you don't have to feel any different.

What follows after baptism is the regular Christian life with its battles and temptations. In fact, just after Jesus was baptized, He had to face some strong temptations from the devil.

The important thing is to set your heart to follow Jesus for the rest of your life, whether your feelings follow or not.

 

I have been baptized in water. What should I do now?

Baptism is one of the first steps in following Jesus. Follow Him in every part of your life. Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit immediately after He was baptized in water. As such, you should ask God to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11,16).

To grow in your faith and relationship with God, you should also take time out to pray and to talk to God daily, start reading the Bible and join a cell group in the church so that you can get to know other Christians and learn more about the Christian lifestyle.


What if there are practical limitations for getting baptized by immersion (such as physical sickness, lack of facilities)?

God accepts us with our limitations if we have a willing heart (2 Cor. 8:12). After all, for Him our heart is more important than the form.

Remember, even if a person who is born again dies before he can get baptized is not going to miss out on heaven, because it is faith and not baptism that saves us (Mk.16:16).

If there are real practical limitations, I am sure God will accept a symbolic form in place of the ideal one.

 

How many times should a person be baptized?

Only once. If a Christian gets out of fellowship with the Lord because of sin, he can confess his sins and be forgiven (1 John 1:5-10); but it is not necessary to be baptized again.

Water baptism is a once-and-for-all public testimony of our identification in death, burial, and resurrection. It is not a religious ceremony that washes away our sins.

 

Items to bring in preparation for water baptism

Please wear casual clothing and pants. Do not wear clothing that will become transparent when wet(ex. white colored ones)

 Please remember to bring:

1 extra set of clothing to change into after baptism

2 large towels (one to use as you come out of the baptism pool, one with your extra set of clothing in the restroom to dry yourself as you change. 

1 large plastic bag to put all your wet clothing in. 

Any additional items needed to 'get ready' after the baptism service, i.e. hair dryer, dry clothing, make-up (for the ladies), etc.