FAQs on Believers Baptism

Believers Baptism is scheduled for Sunday, August 24, at 5 PM (see details following the FAQs). As our annual baptism time approaches, people ask various questions. You may have questions yourself. If so, check out the FAQs below…

Baptism collage

Why get baptized?

As believers we get baptized for three reasons – 1) Jesus commanded it as a part of making disciples – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19)  2) To give testimony to our faith in Jesus, following the examples in the Gospels and Acts. and 3) To follow the example of Jesus – when John the Baptist felt that the roles should be reversed (Jesus, the Messiah, should be baptizing John rather than the other way around), Jesus said, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Simply put, getting baptized was the right thing to do.

In the New Testament we see a simple pattern:

  • CHALLENGE, the Good News is preached and people are challenged to believe and follow Jesus. The challenge in Acts 2 was, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.”
  • RESPONSE, those listening respond to the message with a conviction of sin and guilt and a desire to be saved.
  • COMMITMENT, the people discover how to trust in Jesus for forgiveness and salvation.
  • TESTIMONY THROUGH BAPTISM, those who believe then follow the Lord in baptism.

To see this pattern for yourself, look at Acts 2:36-41, 9:1-19, 16:13-15, 16:25-33 and 18:1-8.

Do I need to get baptized to go to heaven?

While baptism is a very important step of obedience for a believer, it is not necessary to get into heaven. When the Philippian jailer cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul replied, Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.” That was the only requirement. We see this also in Romans 3:22 & 25a – faith in Jesus and faith in His blood makes us completely righteous with God. Baptism does not add to that, rather it is a Biblical way of expressing that faith to others. To make baptism a requirement to go to heaven is to add a work to our faith.

Do I really have to get my hair and clothes wet?

I know that this is a hassle for some. (For the reason for immersion, see What form of baptism is the best? below.) But keep in mind what Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mt. 16:24 NIV) Following Jesus means denying ourselves in many ways. Getting wet as a part of baptism is fairly minor compared to other ways we end up having to deny ourselves.

Do I have to say anything?

This seems to be one of the number one things that scares people out of getting baptized. One sometimes thinks, “I don’t really have a great story to tell.” For many their decision to trust in Jesus happened without a lot of fanfare. They were raised in the church and along the way came to the realization that they were a sinner who could not save oneself. They got it that Jesus died for them. And they silently and privately prayed to trust in the blood of Jesus.

Though this is not a dramatic story like the person converted after a lifetime of terrible sin, it is the story of God’s grace shown to anyone who believes. In fact, for those who are simply religious but not yet saved; this testimony may do more to convince them that they need to stop trusting in their own works and trust in Jesus. Your simple story could help someone else get saved.

Since sharing of our faith in Jesus is a core part of the purpose and practice of baptism, all who get baptized say something to declare their faith. But some say it simply and briefly. Let the Lord lead you as to what to say.

Talking in front of people is also scary in itself. But, if God wants you to get baptized, He will give you the strength to testify for Him. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

Isn’t infant baptism enough?

Did you have a chance to repent as a baby? Not really. If we are supposed to “repent and be baptized,” then it only makes sense that we should follow the Lord in baptism after we have repented of our sins and believed on Jesus as our Savior.

What is the difference between infant baptism and believers baptism?

Basically, the key difference is that infant baptism expresses the parents’ faith and commitment to the Lord and believers baptism expresses one’s own personal faith and commitment. Infant baptism is really the parents’ dedication of their child to God and expresses the intention to help one’s child come to a personal relationship with Jesus as early in life as possible. This is why in most Free Churches it is preferred to have a baby dedication without water to eliminate any confusion later in life when a person thinks, “Well, haven’t I already been baptized?”

What form of baptism is the best?

While the Evangelical Free Church does not mandate a particular form or mode of baptism, most Free Churches practice Believers Baptism through immersion—going down into water like a lake or pool and then being fully immersed in the water. This is preferred since

  • It is the only form of baptism seen in the New Testament. (Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:9-10; John 3:23; Acts 8:34-38)
  • It also gives the best picture of the spiritual reality that takes place the moment a person becomes a believer. We read of this in Romans 6:3-4, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” When we believe in Jesus, we are baptized (literally, the word means “placed into”) into Jesus – His death on the cross, His burial and His resurrection.
  • Being laid out in the water pictures being laid in the grave with Jesus and being raised up out of the water pictures our being raised to live a new life for Jesus!

Should I be re-baptized?

If you have been baptized after you have come to faith in Jesus, that you need not be baptized again. If one was baptized at a time when he/she had not made a personal commitment of trust in the blood of Jesus for salvation, then one should be re-baptized. Believers Baptism is a time of testimony of one’s own personal faith in Jesus. The earlier baptism was either the parents’ dedication in the case of infant baptism or an empty ritual.

Further questions?

Hopefully, these covered the basic questions regarding baptism. If you have further questions, feel free to email Pastor Christopher at clhabarnes@gmail.com. He will also be giving a baptism prep class on Saturday morning, either on August 16 or 23, at 9:00 AM. This class will answer any questions regarding baptism and explain the process of baptism by immersion.

Do I need to get re-baptized to join the church?

You don’t get baptized into the name of the church that does the baptism, rather we are baptized in the name of Jesus. Therefore, if you have been baptized before, you do not need to get baptized again at our church to become a member of St. Luke EFC.

Believers Baptism & Cookout on Sunday, August 24
Excellent Opportunity for Fellowship, Testimony & Outreach and Rededication

We will have a special time of fellowship and worship together as a church family out at Brian & Margaret Kohlstaedt’s Farm at 5:00 PM on Sunday, August 24. This evening will give an opportunity for a number of people who desire to follow the Lord in Believers Baptism by immersion.

One of the best things about Believers Baptism is the chance to hear our brothers and sisters share their story of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is also an opportunity for us to invite unbelievers so that they can hear the testimonies of how people have come to faith and what God has done in their lives since then. Since Jesus commanded us to be baptized, many find Believers Baptism is an opportunity to refresh their commitment to Christ through being obedient in this area of faith.

We will have a cook out prior to the baptism itself. Everyone is invited to come. Bring a dish to pass and either a salad or dessert AND remember to bring lawn chairs. Grilled burgers and hot dogs and beverages will be provided. Also, feel free to bring your swim suits to enjoy the pool.

If you need directions, we will have some maps at church the Sundays prior to the 24th. Or call the office at 10 AM to 2:30 PM, on the Monday, Thursday or Friday the week before the baptism.

If you’d like to be baptized, contact either Pastor Christopher (816-878-3681) or the church office. Pastor Christopher will have a short class for those who would like to get baptized or have questions. The class will be on either Saturday, August 16 or 23, at 8:30 AM.

 

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