Water Baptism

Going Public With Your Faith Through Water Baptism

Matthew 3:11–17

The culture of Open Life is described here in this scripture – it’s one of celebration. Heaven was pumped that Jesus did “what was proper for us to do.” And we love to shout and laugh and celebrate when someone has just been obedient to the point of identifying himself or herself with Christ in water baptism, too. Chest bumps, hugs, high fives…

Let’s look at many passages that talk about this sacred, 2000 year old practice of water baptism and see what is and is not in scripture as far as we have been taught or observed.

 

 

Watch our last water baptism video.

SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT WATER BAPTISM

 

 

 

1. Jesus commands baptism

Matthew 28:18–20

Make disciples (those growing in a relationship with Jesus), baptize those disciples (in the Greek this word literally means “to go down under, to dip, to submerge.” Baptism means; “to make fully wet.”) and teach those disciples to obey everything commanded (And Baptism was just commanded.)

John 14:15; John 15:14

2. Baptism is the public declaration and celebration of your becoming a new creation

Romans 6:3–4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:12; Colossians 3:1–4; Matthew 10:32

The “old man” is symbolically dead and buried in a watery grave. Water baptism proclaims the gospel. It testifies to forgiveness and cleansing from sin. It is the same as we practice with the wedding.

We stand before our family and friends and confess our love for one another…becoming one with each other. Same with baptism…it seals the commitment we have made to follow Jesus, it is the ceremony if you will! Going public for Jesus!

3. Baptism is an act of obedience

Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 2:38–41

It is an act of obedience Jesus himself exemplified the practice of, as he was immersed in the waters of the Jordan River, and the early church practiced it upon their choosing to follow Jesus.

 

 

So according to scripture, What is water baptism?

Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He commanded His followers to preach the gospel to all people and to baptize believers. Baptism is a sign to everyone watching that he or she has accepted Jesus as Savior and that he or she plans to obey Jesus and live to please Him.

Water is not what washes away our sin, it is the relationship with Jesus that provides our forgiveness of sin, the water baptism is a symbolic event of burying our sin and rising up out of the water resurrected from their consequences!

Naturally, even if you have yet to make a decision to follow Jesus, reading these passages might bring up some questions…let’s answer some below.

Water Baptism FAQ's

So you’ve read through the water baptism page and you still have questions?  It’s totally normal!  Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. Just before Jesus returned to heaven, He commanded His followers to preach the gospel to all people and to baptize believers. Baptism is a sign to everyone watching that he or she has accepted Jesus as Savior and that he or she plans to obey Jesus and live to please Him.

Water is not what washes away our sin, it is the relationship with Jesus that provides our forgiveness of sin, the water baptism is a symbolic event of burying our sin and rising up out of the water resurrected from their consequences! Naturally, even if you have yet to make a decision to follow Jesus, reading these passages might bring up some questions…let us answer some.

When should I get baptized?

Although there is no set time limit in scripture, we do see a strong example of as soon as there is opportunity in the early church. But Jesus himself was 30 when he finally got baptized!

We will provide consistent opportunities for water baptism here at Open Life. We value the public declaration, but we also understand that you can make your baptism public through other ways than someone being present. We can take your picture, video your baptism and provide that for you to send to your loved ones to celebrate your sacred moment to them. Being that we don’t go to a church with a huge baptistery tank in it, we will be a bit more scriptural with our baptisms. We will find a body of water and make it happen as the choices to follow Jesus demand it. Hot tubs, portable baptisteries for spontaneous Sunday Baptisms and an annual Baptism at the Lake.

(Acts 8:36–38; Acts 8:12; Acts 9:18; Acts 16:32–33)

Should we do water baptisms every Sunday?

While scripture does say that they did it immediately in some places there is not a command to how often or where it is done. It should be done at the first moment provided, but not necessarily every Sunday. Sunday is not the only day people can chose to follow Jesus. I have had the chance to pray with people in meetings to receive Christ and we didn’t go back into the kitchen and fill the sink with water and try and force the person into it.

We in fact limit God’s creative leading to mandate it be on every Sunday…we want to create special moments for you, just as you make your wedding special, we want to make the moments of water baptism the greatest memories and markers in your life!

Do I have to say anything?

The number one fear of people is public speaking. That is why we video your story before we actually do the water baptism…either days before or the day of. That way all you have to focus on is getting in the water and being prayed over as you are baptized. No public sharing necessary.

Why immersion? Why not just anoint someone with some water on his or her forehead or sprinkle them?

Baptism in the Greek, the language the New Testament was written in, literally means “to go down under, to dip, to submerge.” Baptism therefore means; “to make fully wet.” There is no record in scripture of sprinkling, pour-over’s or anything else other than full immersion.

So how do you dedicate your child to the Lord, does the Bible teach infant baptism?

God places a high priority on children. When asked who is the greatest in the kingdom of God, Jesus responded, “Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

God’s love for children is also shown in the Old Testament. In Leviticus the Lord specifically prohibited the people of Israel from offering their children as a sacrifice to the pagan god, Molech (Leviticus 20:1-5). It seems fair to conclude that if God forbade children from being sacrificed, He would not order those same children to be placed in the eternal fire of hell. From these Scriptures it is clear that children are loved by God, and until they come to an age of understanding (some call it “the age of accountability”), they have a place in the kingdom of God. This means that should a child die before developing to a point where the knowledge of Christ can be understood and applied through forgiveness, the child would inherit eternal life in heaven as an heir of God’s kingdom.

In Luke 2 we see the parents of the baby Jesus taking Him to the temple “to present Him to the Lord” (Luke 2:22). Later the Gospels tell us that little children and infants were brought to Jesus for Him to touch them and bless them (Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17).

In following this practice, we will provide opportunities for parents to publicly dedicate their children to the Lord. This is traditionally done in a church services, but can be done in your home or even within your small group. In dedicating their child the parents acknowledge the child as a gift from God and vow before Him and those present to set a godly example for the child and a commitment to lead the child to Christ at an early age.

Before baptizing children and any minors for that matter here at Open Life, we will simply have someone from our kids life team walk through what it means to be baptize and ensure they fully comprehend it…along with getting permission from the family to do it with our Water Baptism Application.

What if I was baptized in another church or as an infant…do I need to do it again here?

Some who have accepted Christ as adults wonder if the baptism they received as infants fulfills the New Testament mandate of water baptism (1 Peter 3:21). Going to scripture there is no indication of infant baptism whatsoever; therefore, we believe baptism in water is to follow salvation after an age of understanding (acceptance of Christ and His forgiveness of our sins) as demonstrated in the New Testament. For this reason we urge all new converts to follow the biblical pattern of water baptism in obedience to Christ. There is also no indication that one needs to be baptized in every body of believers they associate with; therefore, making the practice of being baptized again if you already knowingly been baptized as a follower of Jesus unnecessary.

Sign Up For The Next Water Baptism

This is the next step, go public with your faith today!