Getting Baptised? 

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View Church is so excited to hear that you have decided to be baptised. We believe that through baptism you acknowledge Christ and His grace for everyone to witness. Baptism is a key moment that you will remember for the rest of your life and we cannot wait to host you.

It is a priority for all without exclusion.  Water baptism is not is not a rather off-beat option for Christians who attend certain types of churches like a Baptist or a Pentecostal church, but is an important part of every Christian’s destiny in God.  Before His ascension to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples special instructions to disciple the nations of the world. Baptism is a vital part of the process of making people disciples of Christ.
 
      
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

                                                                           

 - Matthew 28:19 NLT
 
It should take place as soon as possible.  The New Testament record of water baptism indicates that new Christians were baptised as soon as possible after their salvation. E.g. the Ethiopian Eunuch was baptised in the first stretch of water he came to after he had given his life to Christ. (Acts 8: 35-39) People did not wait until they were ready i.e. had achieved a certain level of holiness or perfection. Another example of immediate baptism was the Philippian jailor and his family. The family was baptised at night straight after they had given their lives to Christ and fixed Paul’s wounds. (Acts 16: 31-33)
 
Water baptism is not infant baptism or ‘sprinkling’.  
 
It is not the same as the church tradition of “christening” infants. Before discussing the important aspects of water baptism, let us clear up certain misunderstandings and confusion.  Some folk mistakenly believe that they have fulfilled Christ’s requirement to be baptised if they were “christened” or “sprinkled” as an infant. They rely on the fact that they were “christened” and then “confirmed” at a later stage as proof of their acceptance by God as His children.  The truth is that no scriptural support can be found for either of these institutions.
 
Baptism follows a ‘mature’ decision to accept Christ into your life.  Before you are baptised you must have repented of your sin and made a conscious decision to accept Jesus as your Saviour. You should have invited Him to become your lord and you no longer live a lifestyle of deliberate sin. A baby or young child cannot make this decision. Having said this, there is no age restriction when it comes to water baptism. The child’s parents should pray before making a decision to allow their child to be baptised and must be satisfied that their child is old enough to fully understand both salvation and water baptism.
 
Water baptism is full immersion in water.  
 
The Greek word used in scripture describes full immersion.  The word ‘baptise’ comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to dip under, dip in, sink, immerse, plunge, cover in liquid. To be baptised means to be fully immersed in water. 
 
The experiences of Bible characters confirm full immersion baptism.                                                                                                   The description of both Jesus’ and the Ethiopian Eunuch’s baptism refers to them going down into the water and then coming up out of the water. (Matthew 3: 16; Acts 8: 38-39) Water was not sprinkled on them.
 
Our practice.  When you are baptised in our church, we dip you into the water and bring you straight back up again. This is called full immersion baptism. Today, people get baptised in rivers, in the sea, in swimming pools and in baptismal fonts in church buildings; any place where there is enough water to fully immerse the person who is being baptised.
 
Who should get baptised?  
 
All true believers.  Baptism is available to any believer who has received eternal life through repentance of sin and a saving faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 2: 38) 
 
Those who believe in their heart and confess publicly.  In Romans 10:9-10 we read that exercising the faith that leads to salvation has a two-fold requirement: a heart belief that Jesus is your saviour and Lord and a public confession of faith in Christ. For this reason we ask all people who are going to be baptised to first make a public confession of their faith in Christ. This may be recorded on a video which is shown to the congregation before the actual baptism or take the form of a live testimony before the church congregation.
 
Those who believe the gospel message. Philip, the evangelist, baptised people who believed the good news about the kingdom. (Acts 8:12) Also, many Corinthians heard the gospel message from Paul and were baptised. (Acts 18: 7-8)
 
The meaning of baptism. (It is symbolic of many things) 
 
It does not provide salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that a man is saved by grace through faith, without works (including baptism). I.e. there are no actions, rituals or good things that will please God and earn salvation. So, if you do not believe that Jesus died for your sins and truly repent of them, the only thing that will happen to you is that you will get wet!
 
It is a symbol of forgiveness of sin.  John the Baptist gave the believers baptism its basic meaning when he baptised people in the Jordan River. In Luke 3:3 we read that John instructed the people who followed him to be baptised in order to show that they had repented and turned to God to receive forgiveness of sins.
               
It is a symbol of new purpose.  Baptism symbolises the truth that you are crossing over from a life of wandering aimlessly and serving self into a life of great purpose, serving God. Jesus travelled from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptised by John because the Jordan River was a national symbol of one of the most significant moments in Jewish history: the moment that the Israelites crossed over from the wilderness, and all it represented, into the Promised Land. (Matthew 3:13) NB. We receive a brand new purpose for our lives when we enter God’s kingdom.
 
It symbolises every Christian’s spiritual union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection to new life.  Christ’s death, burial and resurrection speak of the most amazing achievements in the history of the universe.  If we can grasp and understand that God has destined us, His children, to share in these achievements, our lives will never be the same again. This is discussed in Romans 6: 3-8: 
 
We identify with Christ’s death when we go under the water. Not only are our sins forgiven but our past is no longer held against us. Our sins have been nailed to the cross and are now forgotten by God. The old life dies or is extinguished. 
 
We identify with Christ’s burial. The water is symbolic of the grave and for that reason must cover us completely during the baptism. Just as Christ’s physical body was buried, so our sinful nature or habitual way of sinning was buried forever when we gave our lives to Christ.  Sin loses its power inside of us and we are no longer a slave to it, as described in Romans 7: 14-20. When someone is held under water for a very brief moment this action symbolises the truth that everything relating to the old sinful life is gone forever – by faith. 
 
We identify with Christ’s resurrection.  In His grace and mercy, God allows us to identify with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven.  We are “raised up” into a new spiritual relationship with God - with a new nature and life focus.  We have immediate access to God and are able to exercise God’s power and authority in our ministry.  This is symbolised by the “coming up and out” of the baptismal waters. Because we have been raised to new life, we should direct our focus upwards to the throne of God and think about things that relate to the heavenly kingdom such as overcoming the attack of the evil one, extending the kingdom of God and building the church in every community - from a position of authority and spiritual strength. (Colossians 3:1-2)    
Baptism is a public declaration. Baptism is a triumphant, public declaration that we are disciples of Jesus Christ and live our lives according to His instructions.  It declares to the community not only that we have received eternal life, but that we have submitted ourselves to the “Lordship” of Christ and are committed to His service, notwithstanding trials and difficulties. 
 
Why should we be baptised?
 
It is a command in the Bible.  In the “Great Commission” Jesus instructed, not suggested, that believers be baptised. Why is it vitally important to be obedient?  If anyone is going successfully grow as an obedient follower of Jesus, he must surely be willing to submit to the very first act of obedience that is required of a follower of Jesus?  I.e. if a person is disobedient in the first point of the new Christian Life, he is more likely to refuse to obey other Biblical instructions that come his way in his Christian life.
 
Jesus Himself was baptised.  Jesus, himself, provided the perfect example of the importance of being baptised. His baptism is mentioned in three of the four gospels. (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22) John the Baptist was embarrassed at being asked by Jesus to baptise Him but Jesus insisted on going through with it, despite John’s embarrassment. NB. Jesus was not baptised because He had repented of sin but as a demonstration of God’s approval of John’s method of baptism. It was an act to fulfill all righteousness in the sight of God. So, by being baptised, Jesus identified Himself with all believers, who have no righteousness of their own, but have now received His righteousness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
 
New Testament believers everywhere obeyed this command and practiced the ordinance of adult baptism.   Read Acts 2:35; Acts 8:38-39; Acts 9:18 and Acts 10:47-48. The apostle Paul gave his life to Christ whilst on the Damascus Road but he was blinded during his interaction with Jesus. The moment he received his sight back, he got up and was baptised.  
 
Conclusion 
Do not delay if you have not yet been baptised in water.  It is a very exciting step in your Christian experience which always brings the blessing of God. It is a triumphant confirmation that the old life has truly passed away and has been replaced by a new, satisfying, everlasting life. (2 Corinthians 5:17; John 1:12-13; John 4:13-14). You will declare to everyone that sin no longer has a hold over your life and that you mean business with God! (Romans 6:11-14) It is surely a significant moment in your spiritual journey!