Being baptised is something every believer is commanded to do. After his resurrection Jesus commissioned his disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” - Matthew 28:19-20.
Baptism is a public declaration of our faith in Jesus Christ and of our decision to follow and serve him as Lord, and as such, it serves as a sign of our entrance into the fellowship of his church. It is also a very meaningful and powerful symbol of what God has provided for us in Jesus: the forgiveness of our sins and the promise of everlasting life.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Our word to baptise comes from the Greek meaning “to soak, immerse, or overwhelm (with water).” There are a variety of ways of baptising, each of them reaching back to the early days of the Christian church. Perhaps the earliest and most meaningful form is submersion, in which the believer is momentarily submerged in water, symbolizing his dying and rising with Jesus.
WHAT HAPPENS IN BAPTISM?
Baptism is an outward sign of what has already taken place within us when we decided to follow Jesus. It is a symbol of much more than a washing away of sin, but of an actual union with Christ. In going under the water, the believer is joining in Jesus’ death on the cross and thus crucifying the “old self” with its bondage to sin and separation from God, no longer having to live in sin but freed to live for Jesus. In coming up out of the water, the believer is uniting with Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, rising to new eternal life with him.
As a symbol of our repentance, baptism serves as a clear point of departure between our old and new lives: we are renouncing our former way of life and turning back to God, resolved no longer to live as slaves to sin, but as slaves of Jesus. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1Corinthians 6:19-20). “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? 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 have a new life… because anyone who has died has been freed from sin… In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3-4,7,11).
SHOULD I BE RE-BAPTISED?
Baptism can be a very meaningful and powerful point in the life of every disciple. If you were baptised in infancy or at any time prior to your receiving Jesus, we encourage you to be baptised again as a believer. If you were baptised as a believer in another church or denomination, there is no need to be re-baptised even if you have been away from church for a while.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON THE DAY OF BAPTISM?
Everyone being baptised will be asked to bring appropriate change of clothes and a towel to church on baptism Sunday, we have branded t-shirts for you to wear - which we ask you'll give back after the service. We use a portable baptism pool that requires steps to step into, those baptising you with help you in. We normally take a few moment for you to get comfortable and then you will be quickly ducked under the water in the name of the "Father, Son and Holy Spirit. After you come out of the water we normally have space for people to give words of encouragement and prayer. Baptism Sundays are often a time to celebrate and everyone is encouraged to get in the spirit of the event, so there is often lots of cheering and clapping going on!
Our next baptism serve is likely to be on Sunday 25t February.
"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