Water baptism is your way of saying “I’m following Jesus.” But it’s also more than a symbol. It’s a celebration! At Living Oaks, we want to celebrate with you. We would like to stand with you as you publicly declare you have made the decision to follow Jesus.
The following is our attempt to answer some frequently Asked Questions about Baptism. If you still have questions after reading these answers, please feel free to contact one of our pastors.
1. To Follow the example set by Jesus Christ.
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9)
2. Because Christ commanded it.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
3. It demonstrates I am a Believer.
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
It illustrates Christ’s death. burial and resurrection.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
“Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
1. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water.” (Matthew 3:16)
“And when he came up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10)
2. Every Baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(for example) “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water…” (Acts 8:38-39)
3. The word “baptize” means “to dip or immerse”.
4. It best symbolized a burial and resurrection.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
Baptism is an important step of obedience that shows others that someone has personally trusted Jesus for their salvation. Every person who believes in Jesus should be baptized. Having decided to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, they follow Him in baptism as a symbol of their new life in Him.
“So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41)
“ Go therefore 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)
All instances of baptism follow an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation. At Living Oaks, we wait until children are 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 as a symbol of their faith in Christ.
“ But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)
“Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.” (Acts 10:47-48)
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 to baptize them.
Baptism is a public profession of salvation (as the Bible teaches), and 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.
As soon as you have believed in Christ for salvation.
“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)
The Bible teaches that baptism should follow your decision to become a believer. There is no reason to delay. If you wait until you are “good” enough, you will never feel ready for baptism. since baptism is not a part of your salvation but a symbol of it, it is ok to wait until the next scheduled baptism.
If you have not yet been baptized by immersion after salvation, baptism is your next step. However, you do not have to wait until you are baptized to begin serving. We want you to schedule your baptism, but we also want you to get plugged in and begin to serve.
If you have been baptized since giving your life to Christ, there is no need to be baptized again. Genuine baptism is needed only one time in a person’s life. Once a person has been baptized according to the full complement of scriptural instructions, he or she never has the need to repeat this new-birth process.
After a person has entered the family of Christ through baptism, he or she is a part of the church, the household (family) of God.
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. There are changing rooms available. Avoid make-up as well. Living Oaks Church will provide you with a towel.
Pray, prepare, and relax. Arrive 20 minutes before service is scheduled to begin for some last-minute instructions. Be prepared to answer a few questions:
1. What was your life like before Christ?
2. How did you come to know and follow Christ? (What’s your Christian story?)
3. How has your life been since you got saved?
4. Why are you getting baptized?
(Relax) Don’t worry too much about these questions because our Pastoral staff would love to get together with you and talk things through.