This document is not intended in any way to supersede Scripture. It is a summary of what we understand the Bible teaches regarding Baptism.
Who should be baptized?
- All those who are willing to repent of their sins and confess their belief in Christ should be baptized (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38-39).
How should we be baptized?
- The word for “baptism” in the New Testament is the Greek word baptizo, which means “to immerse in water.” The New Testament says baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-5). Baptism serves as a symbol of the burial of the old self and the resurrection of the believer’s soul to walk in life with Christ. Therefore, at First Christian, we baptize people by immersing them in water.
When should we be baptized?
- A person should be baptized at the time he or she trusts in Christ. The Bible teaches we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8), but in the New Testament church, a person’s baptism was always the place where we put our trust in God’s grace. So baptism was not just a symbol or a memorial of faith, but was intended to offer a means of union with Christ, the removal of sin and a benchmark of transformation, marking the place and time a person made a commitment to Christ (Rom. 6:1-8). At FCC we ask a person to be baptized at the point that he is ready to make a commitment to Christ.
Why should we be baptized?
- A person should be baptized to follow the example of Christ (Mat. 3:13-17), to obey Christ’s command (Mat. 28:18), to accept forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), to express trust in Christ (Acts 8:12-13), and to testify to God’s work in his or her life (Rom. 6:1-8; Gal. 3:27). Baptism also serves to cleanse a guilty conscience (1 Pet. 3:21). The Holy Spirit prompts individuals to recognize their sin and guilt. The only method by which the human soul can be wiped clean of sin is through the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:27-10:7). This “washing away” of sin is most clearly symbolized in the act of baptism (Acts 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).
- Since one of the biggest obstacles between God and man is human pride, baptism also offers a venue by which believers humble themselves before God and others and admit their need for Christ’s redemption (James 4:6). In addition, baptism meets a God-given human need for expression. Everyone needs an outlet for emotion, or an expression for an impression. Baptism is the outlet for an expression of faith in Christ.
- Our faith, our repentance, our confession of Jesus as Lord, our baptism and our godly life in and of themselves cannot save a person without the much more powerful work of Jesus’s death burial and resurrection. We are saved only through accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Baptism demonstrates the believer’s acceptance of Christ and is the point of time when the believer receives assurance of his or her faith.
We believe that salvation (the forgiveness of sins) comes by grace through the blood of Jesus Christ (His death on the cross). Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:8-11; Ephesians 2:8-9
We believe the Bible teaches that to receive Jesus as Savior is to believe in Christ as God’s Son and Savior of the world, to repent of personal sin, to confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and to be immersed in baptism. Luke 24:45-47; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-7; Romans 10:9-10; Galatians 3:26-27, 2 Peter 3:9.