Information on Water Baptism and other common questions are answered below as well. If you need more info please feel free to contact the church office. You can also register for our next GOING PUBLIC Water Baptism here.
Baptism is an important step of obedience that shows others we have personally trusted Jesus for our salvation. Jesus was baptized when He was on the earth, and we do this to follow His example. When Christians are baptized, they are submerged under water to identify with the death and burial of Jesus and raised out of the water to identify with His resurrection. We believe that water baptism is a public declaration of three important things: you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are beginning a changed life in Christ, and you are part of a new family.
1. WHY BE BAPTIZED?
Those who are baptized are following Jesus’ example and obeying His command.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” —Matthew 3:16–17
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” —Matthew 28:18–20
2. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BAPTISM?
Water baptism is a public declaration of three very important things:
√ You are a follower of Jesus Christ.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized.” —Acts 2:41
√ You are beginning a changed life in Christ.
“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.” —Romans 6:4
√ You are part of a new family.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” —Galatians 3:26–27
3. I HAVE ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED. SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED AGAIN?
Your baptism should have signified you becoming a follower of Jesus, beginning a changed life, and uniting with a new family. If your baptism did not reflect this change of life, then you should be baptized again.
4. CAN MY CHILD BE BAPTIZED?
We will baptize anyone over age 7 who understands what baptism symbolizes and wants to make that personal public declaration. We encourage any parents to partner with our BC Kids and Motion Students ministries to guide your children through these decisions of faith.
For more information to help guide your child through this important decision, check out our Children’s Baptism Guide.
5. CAN MY INFANT BE BAPTIZED?
Throughout the New Testament, the Bible teaches that baptism is a public expression of worship symbolizing the new life we have when we follow Jesus. In the Bible we see that Jesus’ parents dedicated him to the Lord (Luke 2:22–40), and he was later baptized as an adult (Matthew 3:16–17).
We understand that some churches practice “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a commitment between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his or her own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed and is different from the biblical examples of new believers being baptized to publicly profess their faith in Jesus.
At BCSylvania we provide opportunities for child dedication and believer’s baptism. Child dedication is held every spint in April\May. Contact the church office for our next Child Dedication Sunday.
We are so excited that you are considering baptism for your child! Every child can have a personal relationship with Jesus, and in BC Kids we encourage them to make a decision to follow Him. Our children are encouraged to not just learn about Jesus, but learn from Him by walking with Him every day.
We advise parents to wait until their child is asking to be water baptized. This is usually a good indication that they are ready to be baptized and that it will be a spiritual milestone in their life. While younger children under the age of seven can have a relationship with Jesus, they will not necessarily remember or understand the significance of the event, so we encourage parents to wait for baptism until they are a little older.
As you discern if your child is ready to be water baptized, here are some questions to ask your child. The following answers show that your child understands.
1. When did you decide to follow Jesus and become His forever friend?
Your child should have a specific memory of when he or she understood what Jesus did, and that he or she needs Jesus in their life. It may have been at church, at home, or even sometime when they were alone.
2. What does it mean to be water baptized?
It means I’m following Jesus. It means I’m a Christian and I want to show the world. It’s a picture of what Jesus has done on the inside of me.
3. Why do you want to be water baptized?
Because Jesus was baptized and he tells us to be baptized also. Because I’m a friend of Jesus and I want to follow Him.
Your Child is READY
If you feel your child understands what it means to be water baptized, then we’d love for you to read through the water baptism devotional with them.
Your Child is NOT READY
If you don’t feel your child understands what it means to be water baptized, it’s totally appropriate to wait. During this time, let your child observe water baptism and talk to them about what it means. We’d love for you to read through the water baptism devotional with your child and spur them on in their personal friendship with Jesus.
WATER BAPTISM DEVOTIONAL
Obeying Jesus’ Commandment
“So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIRV
Being baptized in water is one of the first steps you take in following Jesus. A friend of Jesus does not just learn about Jesus, but follows Jesus and does the things He did. The number one reason you should get baptized in water is because Jesus did and He told us to also.
When you became a friend of Jesus, you were brought into God’s kingdom under Jesus’ control. That means you have decided to do what Jesus says and follow His example. Jesus was water baptized, so we should be too. Take time right now to read about Jesus’ baptism in your Bible in Matthew 3:13-17.
Ask your child this: What is the number one reason you should be baptized in water?
An Outward Picture
“When you were baptized, you were buried together with him. You were raised to life together with him by believing in God’s power. God raised Jesus from the dead.” Colossians 2:12 NIRV
Water baptism is just an outward picture of what Jesus has done for you on the inside. Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and then was raised from the dead! When you asked Jesus to be your forever friend, there was a death, a burial and a resurrection (that means raising back to life) that happened in your spirit as you prayed the prayer (I Corinthians 12:13).
That’s why you go all the way under the water when you are baptized. You are showing people that your old spirit and all your past sins (the bad things you did) are buried with Jesus. When you come up out of the water, you are saying that Jesus has given you new life. Everyone sees the picture of the change that has taken place inside your heart.
Ask your child this: What is water baptism a picture of?
A Decision of Faith
“By being baptized, we were buried with Christ [Jesus] into his death. Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father’s glory. And like Christ we can also live a new life.” Romans 6:4 NIRV
Water baptism does not save you. It has no purpose or meaning until after you have decided to follow Jesus and invited Jesus into your heart and life. But water baptism is a very important step in your new Christian life. When you decided to follow Jesus, you made a decision of faith to receive Him into your heart. When you are baptized in water, you are making a decision of faith to follow Him all the days of your life. You are choosing to let Jesus and your new, born-again spirit be in charge of your life. Your water baptism will always be a reminder of your decision to follow the Lord.
Ask your child this: When you are baptized in water, it means you have made a decision of faith to do what?