What Is the Meaning of Baptism?
Christ died for our sins…He was buried, and…He rose again.
For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.
-Colossians 2:12 GNT
Baptism illustrates your new life as a Christian.
What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!
-2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…so also we may live a new life!
-Romans 6:4 GNT
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer—it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring; it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
-Ephesians 2:8—9 NIV
Why Be Baptized by Immersion?
Jesus was baptized that way. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. For example: Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away.
– Acts 8:38—39 NIV, emphasis added
The Greek word baptizes means “to immerse or dip under water.” It best symbolized a burial and resurrection!
The founders of denominations agree:
I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies.
The word “baptize” signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.
– John Calvin
Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ.
Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church.
-Acts 2:41 NLT
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
-Acts 8:12 NIV
Simon himself believed and was baptized.
At The Servant Church, we wait until children are old enough to believe and to understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
At The Servant Church we practice a “dedication for children” if the parents so desire. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant 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 their own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about three hundred years after the Bible was completed.
This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.
When Should I Be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed.
Those who believed…were baptized…that day.
Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
-Acts 8:35—38 NIV
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel good enough!
Can My Family and Friends
Be Baptized Together?
Yes! If each person understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his or her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family or group tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting for others to join you. This puts an undue pressure on them and delays your obedience.
What Should I Wear When I Am Baptized?
Women can wear shorts or jeans and a top heavy enough to not be revealing when wet. A swim suit can be worn under clothing (such as shorts and top). Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
Will I Have to Say Anything?
At the beginning of the service, The Pastor will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait in the waiting area adjacent to the baptistery for your turn to be baptized. The Pastor will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water, and then you can leave the water, dry off, and watch the others. Later you will receive your baptism certificate. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.