What is the meaning of baptism?
Baptism doesn’t 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’s the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
It 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)
It illustrates a 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.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “By our baptism then, we are 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)
Who should be baptized and when?
As soon as you believe (that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for your sins, and accept Him as your Savior), there is no reason to delay. You can and should be baptized as soon as possible. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you’ll never feel good enough. “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)
Why be baptized by immersion?
Why? – because Jesus was baptized that way, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went out of the water.” (Matthew 3:16)
The word “baptize” means “to immerse or dip under water” and it symbolizes both a burial and resurrection!
At CCC, 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” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parent 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 custom is very 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. At CCC, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were “confirmed” as children.
Can my family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member fully understands the meaning of baptism and each member has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we strongly encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of family unity and commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with our Youth Director for a pre-baptism conversation. This is done just to ensure children fully understand what they are doing.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience to God.
Under special circumstances, private baptisms can also be performed.