WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
1. It illustrates Christ’s death and resurrection.
2 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV) “Christ died for our sins…He was buried…and rose again.”
Colossians 2:12 (ESV) “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”
2. It is a picture of a new birth; a starting point.
John 3:3-5 (NIV) 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" 5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
Baptism is a way of showing others that you have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus. It is an outward symbol of the inward commitment that you have made.
It symbolizes what took place in your heart at the time of salvation:
- Accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Shared in his death and resurrection, illustrated through baptism by going under the water (dead to your old life), then rising again (new life).
- Were symbolically washed clean, and sins were forgiven by his death on the cross.
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God. We baptize by immersion at Foothills Church because we believe Scripture shows that Jesus modeled that for us as the way to publicly acknowledge our faith in Him. The Greek word for baptism is baptizo. The definition is, “to be immersed, to be buried in, to be sunken as a ship, to dip, to be put under."
Mark 1:9-10 (NIV) 9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
1. To follow the example set by Christ.
Mark 1:9 (NIV) “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”
2. Because Christ commands it.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
3. Because it demonstrates that I really am a believer.
Acts 18:8 (NIV) “many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Christians believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation occurs only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment for his or her sin.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are ready to be baptized. Just like a bride and groom show others their love for one another by wearing wedding bands, your baptism is your opportunity to show others that you have accepted Christ and are now walking with him.
Mark 16:15-16 (NIV) 15He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
Some denominations choose to christen infants. While we recognize the right of other churches to practice infant christening, we understand Scripture to teach that only professing believers qualify for baptism. Baptism does not make you a believer; rather, it shows that you already believe.