BAPTISM AT WATERBROOK
Anytime we do a baptism is raises questions. Why should...Who should...How should...we baptize? Since such a variety of backgrounds and traditions exist, we offer this information as an explanation of what we believe the Bible says about the topic, and why we do what we do at Waterbrook Bible Fellowship.
WHY DO WE BAPTIZE?
Jesus explained baptism as part of the journey of faith for New Testament believers. As part of the “Great Commission” to His followers, which includes us, He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19). There are also several clear examples of individuals being baptized because of their faith and as a public testimony, including Paul (Acts 9:17-19) and other followers of Jesus (John 4:1-2; Acts 2 & 8; 1 Corinthians 1:14-16). Therefore, we baptize today in obedience to the command of Scripture, and following the examples laid before us.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Scripture teaches that water baptism is a public profession of our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. It is an external action designed to give evidence of an internal change. In other words, people are baptized to publicly identify themselves with Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1). It is not a condition for salvation. The Bible clearly communicates that salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone (Romans 5:1).
This means those who’ve placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior should be baptized as a public profession of their faith. Water baptism has no spiritual value for someone who’s not accepted Christ as Savior. That’s why we call it “Believer’s Baptism,” and baptize only those who profess to have faith in Christ for salvation. This can include children who are old enough to believe in Jesus Christ’s death on their behalf as the payment for their sin.
HOW SHOULD WE BAPTIZE?
The biblical examples of baptism are by immersion (dunking under water). (See Jesus’ baptism in Mark 1:9- 10, and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:38.) Although baptism is not a condition of salvation, and the key element is the public testimony of the baptism, we choose not to make this a divisive issue, but follow the example given in Scripture of immersion.
WHO CAN BAPTIZE?
At Waterbrook, we allow church members to perform baptisms under the ministry oversight of the pastors and elders. The purpose of allowing church members to baptize a fellow believer is to recognize the spiritual input and mentoring believers have in the lives of one another. We encourage parents to consider participating in the baptism of their believing children.
At Waterbrook Bible Fellowship we try to maintain a balanced approach to this topic. We do not wish to place an inappropriate emphasis on baptism since it’s not a condition for salvation and eternity in heaven. We also don’t want to take it too lightly since it is an act of obedience in the Christian life. We encourage believers of any age to consider believer’s baptism if they’ve not been baptized since their salvation decision. Such a person should willingly, gladly, and obediently desire to be baptized.
This information has been created as a summary on baptism. Anyone seeking more information on this topic should speak with a pastor for specific details regarding Waterbrook’s written policy and practices for baptisms. Contact the church office if you’d like to sign up for a future baptism service or to receive more details on the process.