What is baptism?
In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commands his followers: “…Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Baptism is an “all in” moment for a follower of Jesus. It’s a moment of public declaration.
Romans 10:9-10 says: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
While our faith is personal, it was never meant to be private. It was meant to be lived out in community. It was meant to be shared. Publicly declaring your intent to follow Jesus marks you as part of his family. It lets others know that you have surrendered your life to Christ and it invites them to enter in to your story as well.
Baptism is symbolic. It’s a symbol of us dying and being raised to new life. As we are lowered under the water we are demonstrating that the story about us, with us at the center, is dying. As we are raised back up out of the water we are demonstrating that a new story is being birthed, one where Christ is at the center. It symbolizes the washing away of our sins as Christ’s forgiveness is made complete in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.
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Here are a few notes leading up to Baptism Sunday to help you know what to expect:
- Plan to get wet! Probably obvious, but you will be fully under water at some point. You can dress however you like for Sunday, and then right before it is time we will dismiss you to get changed. You should wear some shorts and a shirt! We will also have towels for you.
- We will take photos and video which at some point you will be able to share online.
- You may have any follower of Jesus participate by baptizing you. If someone played a significant role in your faith that you would like to participate that would be awesome.
- We would love it if you want to share a very brief statement or story about what Jesus has done in your life. You may also want to mention here someone who has played a significant role in your faith journey. We want you to make a big deal about Jesus though – tell us what it means for you to be trusting Him. We will give you the opportunity, but won’t force you to do this. (If you think you would like to say something – let us know in the registration form. You will still have opportunity even if you don’t indicate on the form, but it helps us to plan a bit.)
- Finally, invite people. You will want to share this day with family and friends. Invite them – they will love it. It’s also a great day to invite someone that maybe you’ve been praying for as well. If they don’t know Jesus, your story or someone else’s could be a huge catalyst for their own faith.