Baptism is a public declaration of your heart-felt commitment to follow Jesus Christ. It’s the next step you should take after salvation.
People often have questions about Baptism. Take a few minutes to read answers to these 7 Common Questions about Baptism.
1. What is Baptism?
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward heart change. It is a public declaration of the internal transformation that Jesus has brought to your life. It is an act of obedience, a celebration of faith and a milestone in the life of a believer. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34).
2. Who should be baptized?
The Bible teaches that every Believer in Jesus should be baptized. A Believer is someone who recognizes their sin has separated them from a holy and righteous God. They have concluded the only way to bridge the gap between them and God is through Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins. A Believer is someone who has decided to trust Jesus alone for their salvation (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13).
3. How is it to be done?
Baptisms in the Bible were by immersion. The original word for baptism most often referred to being immersed or submerged in water. Submersion in the water symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Being submersed underwater represents our death to sin and old way of life. Being raised out of the water displays that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead has given them new life too. (Matthew 3:16; Romans 6:1-11).
4. Is there an age limit?
At RiverLakes we wait until a person is old enough to make a personal decision to trust Christ for salvation and understand the true meaning of baptism. Baptism is only for those who have made a personal decision to trust Jesus for salvation and commit to following Him. Any person desiring to be baptized must first meet with an Elder or member of the Pastoral Staff and be able to clearly express their commitment to Jesus and understanding of baptism.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his/her own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.
This is different from the baptism reflected in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to confess your personal commitment to Christ. Rather than infant baptism, at RiverLakes, we encourage a parent (baby) dedication. To learn more about parent dedication, click here.
5. Do I need to be baptized again?
If you haven’t been baptized by immersion since you decided to commit your life to Jesus, we want to encourage you to take your next step of being baptized. Once you’ve taken that step, there is no need to be baptized again.
6. How can I help my child to prepare for baptism?
Make prayer and Bible reading part of your daily routine. Let your children see you (the parent) living out your own faith. If they are not already involved, get your child connected to the Children’s Ministry at RiverLakes. They will experience age-appropriate Bible lessons, activities and worship.
7. What do I need to do to be baptized at RiverLakes?
Either register online or call the Church office. Sign up to participate in the Baptism Class, which is held one week prior to our Baptism Celebrations. The class will cover the logistics of the service, such as preparing a short personal testimony and the need to bring a towel and change of clothes.