What is the Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism illustrates Christ´s burial and resurrection.
- “Christ died for our sins He was buried and He rose again.” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” – Colossians 2:12
Baptism illustrates your new life as a Christian.
Baptism does not 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 is the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
- “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians. 5:17
- “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
- “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
Why be baptized by immersion?
The word Baptize means “To dip under water”. The Greek word baptize means “to immerse or dip under water”. Baptism is best symbolized a burial and resurrection!
We are baptized by immersion because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” – Matthew 3:16
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
“…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” – Acts 8:38-39
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther: “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin: “The word ´baptize´ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley: “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
Who should be baptized..and when?
Every person who has believed in Christ should be baptized.
- “Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized…” – Acts 2:41
- “Simon himself believed and was baptized…” – Acts 8:13
“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
A person should be baptized As soon as they have believed. 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”!
- “Those who believe…were baptized…that day!” – Acts 2:41
- “Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ´Look, here is water! Why shouldn´t I be baptized right now?´ Philip said, ´If you believe with all your heart, you may.´ The man answered, ´I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.´ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” – Acts 8:35-38
At HopeCity, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation”. At HopeCity we call this Child Dedication. 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 his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 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 of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.
What Should I Wear?
Women should wear shorts and a top (Not white). Men may wear shorts or a swimsuit and a t-shirt. Bring a towel and, if desired, a change of clothes.
Will I Have to Say Anything?
You will meet one of the HopeCity pastors in the What’s Next Room 15 minutes before the start of the service you are getting baptized in.
You will be introduced and then asked to repeat the Confession of Faith. You do not have to memorize anything, as the one baptizing you will give that to you phrase by phrase. Then you will be briefly lowered 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.
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/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Due to the size of the pool you will be baptized one after the other.
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 on others to join you. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.