What’s all this talk about baptism?

 

Maybe you’ve heard this term or maybe you’ve witnessed a baptism, but you’ve got questions about what it all means or why you might consider participating. There’s a lot to it, and there’s no end to the amount of reading you could do about baptism, but here are a few points and ideas to get you started:

 

Christians throughout history have understood baptism as a water ritual practiced by John the Baptist, Jesus himself, and the first Christians. Baptism is an English translation of a Bible word that means “dip” or “submerge.”

 

Here’s an abbreviated biblical background on baptism:

       John the Baptist baptized people when they repented of their sins, but also baptized the sinless Jesus.

       Jesus instructed his followers to share their faith and baptize people who accepted their message.

       The records of the early church are full of stories of people who were baptized immediately after they believed the good news about Jesus (ex: Acts 8:26-40, Acts 16:25-34).

 

Just like those early believers, if you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are ready to be baptized. Baptism is a ceremony like a wedding – it serves as your opportunity to show others that you have accepted Christ and are now walking with Him. We immerse because we believe Scripture shows that Jesus modeled that for us as the way to publicly acknowledge our faith. Also, because Jesus instructed believers to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience that demonstrates submission to God.

 

When you’re baptized, you’re immersed under water – a metaphorical symbol of participation in the death and burial of Jesus – and then raised out of the water to identify with Christ’s resurrection.

 

It’s important to know that baptism doesn’t save you – only Jesus can do that – but that baptism is an important act of obedience and an expression of the salvation you have received. It’s a public declaration and celebration of the fact that Jesus is changing your life.

 

Baptism is available virtually any time at Heritage, but we occasionally schedule unique Baptism Sunday events to encourage new believers to go ahead and take this important Next Step.

 

If you have additional questions about baptism or would like to arrange to be baptized at Heritage, please contact us at nextsteps@hccmail.org.