Baptism as a disciple of Jesus Christ

Baptism is an important and wonderful celebration for those participating and for those watching. If you have never fully understood what baptism is about, the following answers to common question will be helpful.

Why is baptism important?

It's important because it provides a person with the opportunity to publicly declare that he/she is serious about being a Christ-follower. In a sense, baptism is the "announcement"; that a person is a believer in, and follower of, Jesus. It is meant to be a public testimony of the fact that you have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and to repent (or turn from) a life of sin.

In the Bible, baptism is never said to be a requirement or necessity to receive salvation, but is always presented as the next logical step after professing faith in Jesus Christ. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people accepted the message of Jesus Christ and were then baptized (Acts 2:38-41). After Philip explained the good news of Jesus to the Ethiopian official, the official responded in belief and was baptized (Acts 8:36-38). As the message of Jesus Christ went forth from Jerusalem throughout the Roman empire, many believed and were baptized like the Corinthians mentioned in Acts 18:18.

Ultimately, we believe baptism is important because Christ commanded it of His disciples in Matthew 28:19.

How does this church baptize?

At First Alliance Church, we baptize through immersion. The biblical word of baptize means to "immerse, douse, or saturate." Immersion best symbolizes death and resurrection. In going under the water, we are symbolizing the fact that your old life of separation from God is over. When a person is raised from the water, it symbolizes the person's spiritual resurrection and their intent to live a new life through their connection with God (Col. 2:12-13). Immersion is consistent with the passage of the Bible, Romans 6:3-4 where the writer addresses the image of being buried and resurrected with Jesus Christ in our baptism. The saturation with water is a symbol of life change that happens through clothing ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27).

What is the symbolism of baptism?

Baptism is full symbolism, and very powerfully communicates what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In addition to what is mentioned above:

1. The fact that everyone who is baptized needs to go through the experience of going under the water makes this occasion a great "leveler". Everybody is the same and does the same thing.

2. The action of going under the water is symbolic of being washed clean. People can only become followers of Jesus Crist as their independence from God, pride and selfishness is dealt with. The water in which people are submerged symbolizes the cleansing process.

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Is there an age limit on baptism?

Any person who understands and is able to verbally share their commitment to Jesus Christ can be baptized. Children, teens, and adults can be baptized as long as they have chosen to repent and believe. The Bible does not say that you have to be a believer for a certain period of time before being baptized. Our desire is that everyone, no matter their age, takes this step of obedience in their relationship with Christ and be baptized.

When I'm baptized, am I required to say anything?

You will be asked a couple of questions that ask for a simple "yes" response. You will also be asked to write down a short testimony of your decision to follow Christ as His disciple. This will be printed and distributed as part of the baptism service.

In Summary

1. Though the Bible does not state a minimum age at which a person may be baptized, an individual believer should be old enough to understand the significance of baptism.

2. Baptism is not required to receive God's salvation. However, all who have trusted Christ for salvation are encouraged to follow His example of baptism as a step of obedience.

3. Persons who were baptized as believers before affiliating with an Alliance church do not need to be baptized again.

4. In cases where immersion is not possible due to physical limitations, an alternate mode is acceptable.

 

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