Baptism

Baptism at Central Church

We believe that it should be the desire of every believer to be baptized in water as a showing of their decision to follow Christ. We believe baptism is a "next step" in your faith journey.

According to our understanding of the New Testament, here are our answers to several important questions regarding baptism:

Why Should I Be Baptized?
To follow the example set by Christ.

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” (Mark1:9)

Because Christ commanded it.

“Jesus, said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciple, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

It demonstrates that I really am a Believer.

We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” (I John 2:3)

What Is The Meaning Of Baptism?
It illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Christ died for our sins… He was buried…and He rose again.” (I 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)

It illustrates my new life as a Christian.

When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” (II Corinthians 5:17)

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new Life.” (Romans 6:4)

Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian.

Only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward sign of the commitment you have made in your heart (Ephesians 2:8-9). The act of baptism cannot save an individual. We are saved only through accepting Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Baptism demonstrates the believer’s acceptance of Christ.

Why Be 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.

(for example) “…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 word “baptize” means “to dip under water.”

It best symbolized a burial and resurrection (see Romans 6:1-11). Baptism by immersion serves as a metaphor of the burial of the old self and the resurrection of the believer’s soul to walk in life with Christ.

Who Should Be Baptized?

Every person who has believed in Jesus Christ should be baptized. A Believer is someone who has realized that their sin separated them from God. A Believer is someone who has given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. A Believer has concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A Believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13).

What About Children?

The New Testament shows no example of baptism when the person did not request it. All instances of baptism followed an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47-48). At Central Church we wait until the child is old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. When a child makes a decision for Christ, we gladly baptize them into the Christian faith.

What About Infant Baptism?

In the Bible we find parents bringing children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But he did not baptize them, and he did not tell anyone else to baptize them. So it seems more Biblical to wait until after a personal decision to trust Christ as Savior has been made by the child. Since we believe that baptism is a public profession of salvation (as the Bible teaches), only people who have intentionally received salvation should experience baptism.

If you have not experienced adult baptism, even though you have experienced baptism as an infant, the full meaning and significance of baptism has yet to take place in your life. We strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ.

When Should I Be Baptized?

You should be baptized as soon as you have believed in Christ. Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Does this have to be done Immediately?

No, but the Bible teaches that baptism should follow your decision to become a believer. However, there is no reason to delay. If you wait until you are “good” enough, you will never feel ready for baptism.

Should a person ever be rebaptized?

Any person who has trusted in Jesus as the only Son of God and who has willingly been immersed into Christ may become a member of Central Church whether the baptism occurred at Central or elsewhere. Rebaptism is encouraged for those who lack confidence in their initial baptism experience because they don’t remember it, they were coerced, or their heart was not right with God at the time. Anyone who has fallen into sin after having been baptized should repent and seek forgiveness, but rebaptism is not necessary (Acts 8:13-24).

Must a person be baptized during a worship service?

No. Baptisms at other times are acceptable (Acts 8:38; 16:33). Paul exhorts all believers to unite, for we are all of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Regardless of our particular beliefs regarding the mode of baptism, it is important for all Christians to seek unity as representatives of Christ’s body. We believe the source of unity is the truth of God’s Word, and we pray that baptism will be a place of unity, not division, among believers (John 17:17-21).

What Do I Wear?

Dress in clothes you don’t mind getting wet! You should wear a dark shirt and shorts. Remember to bring a change of clothes to wear home. You may change in the restrooms. Please bring a towel. Arrive 30 minutes before the service is scheduled to begin for some last-minute instructions.

How do I Sign Up?

Sign up online or at the Welcome Desk. Then, we will contact you with our upcoming baptism service dates.