“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Watersprings practices believer’s baptism by immersion. If you have questions about baptism, see below. If you’re interested in being baptized, be sure to attend one of our upcoming baptisms.
What is Baptism
Baptism is an act Jesus commands His followers to participate in (Matt. 28:19). Baptism also represents the pledge of a good conscience before God (1 Peter 3:21), and it’s what Christians do outwardly to show what God has done inwardly. For all who believe in Him, Jesus Christ puts to death the former self, and gives a new resurrected life. Jesus called this being “born again” (John 3:3), and it’s what the apostle Paul described when he said believers are “new creatures, the old has gone and the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When a person is baptized, their submersion represents the death and burial of the old life. When they come out of the water, it represents the new life God has given them (Romans 6:4).
The only requirements to be baptized are to believe in Jesus Christ, and to understand what baptism represents. Acts 8:36-37 reads, “Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
What is the purpose of baptism?
“Did you forget that all of us became part of Christ when we were baptized? We shared his death in our baptism. So when we were baptized, we were buried with Christ and shared his death. We were buried with him so that we could live a new life, just as Christ was raised from death by the wonderful power of the Father. Christ died, and we have been joined with Christ by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from death as he did” (Romans 6:3-5). Baptism is a symbolic act by which we share in the death and life of Jesus Christ. Jesus died and was buried for the sake of our sins, and baptism represents the death and burial of our old life. But Jesus was also raised from the dead in order to give us eternal life. As we’re raised out of the water, it represents our newfound life in Christ. In baptism we’re essentially saying we identify with what Jesus went through for us.
In a way, baptism is a funeral and a birthday celebration in one: God gave us this rite to remind us of the spiritual decision we made: It’s a way for us to put our faith into action, telling the world we’ve died to our old selves and desires, and have received a new resurrected life in Christ. It keeps us accountable and reminds us that the world is watching and expects to see change in our lives.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
In examining the following, our hope is to give clear, concise reasons why Watersprings does not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation.
- The thief on the cross is given the promise of eternal life without being baptized (Luke 23:40-43), indicating that baptism is not required to go to Heaven.
- Acts 9: Saul is converted three days before his baptism. His salvation before baptism is evident in his reference to Jesus as Lord (v.5), God’s testimony to Ananias that Saul had been praying to Him (11), and Ananias calls Saul his “brother” (17); all indicating Saul was saved before he was baptized.
- Acts 10: those of Cornelius’s house are saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit before they are ever baptized in water (10:44-48), which would be impossible if baptism were required for salvation.
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: Paul declares the gospel “by which you are saved” (Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection); but he doesn’t mention baptism in connection with the gospel of salvation.
- Both Jesus and Paul had less of an emphasis on baptism than on proclaming the gospel in their public ministries (John 4:2, 1 Corinthians 1:14). They prioritized preaching the gospel over baptizing because it’s the gospel that saves, not baptism.
- 1 John was written to give Christians assurance of their salvation (5:13), yet never mentions water baptism, much less its necessity or prerequisite for salvation.
- Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, and not through any work of man (Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 3:5). We believe that baptism is a good work, but a work nonetheless, and it diminishes God’s grace to teach that grace plus something equals salvation.
What is Watersprings position on infant baptism?
We don’t baptize infants or small children because it’s impossible for them to consciously place their faith in Christ and understand what baptism represents. Although the outward act of baptism would be accomplished, the inward significance of baptism would be completely void and ritualistic. Furthermore, the biblical model is always that of infant and child dedication, never baptism (Exodus 13:2, 12-15, 1 Samuel 1:26-28, Luke 2:22, 27, 18:15-17, Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16).
Therefore, when we baptize someone, they must first be a believer in Jesus (Acts 8), and they must understand what baptism means and represents (Romans 6).
If you were baptized as an infant, the Bible never teaches or demonstrates infant baptism, but rather that baptism should be experienced only by those who consciously place their faith in Jesus Christ (again, see Acts 8, 1 Peter 3:21). Thus, we believe that infant baptism is something without warrant in the Word which doesn’t have any spiritual significance for the infant. We would definitely encourage someone who was baptized as an infant to be baptized as an adult after coming to Christ. Remember, the value in baptism is that it’s an outward reflection of an inward commitment-your commitment to bury the past and follow after Jesus.
Should I or can I be baptized again?
The New Testament says a person should be baptized with an awareness of what they’re doing. Check out Acts 8:35-38, Romans 6:3-4, and 1 Peter 3:21. These scriptures indicate that baptism is something that you need to fully comprehend in order for it to have any true significance in your life. Once you have an understanding of what baptism is and what it represents, you can (and should) be baptized again.
In whose name do you baptize?
At Watersprings, we follow the pattern put forth by Christ in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”