Jesus’ final recorded words to His followers before His ascension to heaven express the importance He placed on Baptism. In Matthew 28:19, 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.”
Baptism does not provide salvation for an individual, but rather serves to identify publicly the individual as a follower of Christ. In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48, the act of Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The New Testament records the Baptisms of adult believers only. In Romans 6:1–11, the apostle Paul describes the immersion of Baptism as a means through which the believer identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Going under the water represents Christ’s death—and a believer’s death to sin; coming out of the water illustrates His resurrection and the believer’s new life in Christ.
Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ that follows an individual’s acceptance of salvation by God’s grace alone. Baptism isn’t a prerequisite for salvation; however, if an inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of that commitment—Baptism—should follow, as is modeled throughout the New Testament in the lives of those choosing to follow Christ.
If the purpose of Baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, you may well be asking yourself, “What was the significance of my Baptism as a baby?” In the New Testament, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told His disciples to welcome them. But He did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.
If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your Baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes. It in no way repudiates the Baptism you received as a child.
Once someone professes faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Bible says they should proclaim the life change that has occurred—the watching world needs to know. Baptism has always stood as a public testimony for people who have become believers in Christ.
Believers are those who have realized that their sins have separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through their own good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins and His resurrection is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for his or her salvation. If you have come to this point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized. Let the miracle that has happened in you show through the sacrament He ordained for you.
If you are ready to get baptized, you will need to complete the following three steps:
In the weeks leading up to the Baptism weekend, each participant is asked to attend a brief informational meeting immediately following Sunday services. At these meetings, a Foundations pastor reviews the church’s statement on the biblical basis for Baptism and answers any questions you may have. A staff member explains the logistics of check-in and the order of events during the Baptism service. The Baptism team is also available after these meetings to address any further spiritual questions you may have.