To baptize means to dip, to immerse. When we are talking about water baptism we are talking about being dipped in water, being immersed in water Baptism is a command of God – Acts 2:37-38 “…Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.“ Baptism is a commission of the church – Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.“ Baptism is a picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ – Romans 6:4-5 ”Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:“ Being immersed in water pictures the death and burial of Jesus Christ. (that is why sprinkling or pouring would never be proper baptism — bible baptism always pictures a burial). When the person being baptized is brought back up out of the water, it pictures the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel, according to 1Corinthians 15:1-4 is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Who should be baptized?
There is only one proper candidate for Bible baptism. It is a person who has already received Jesus Christ into their heart by faith.
Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.“ Notice they first received his word, then were baptized.“
Acts 8:36-38 “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.“ Notice that Philip would not baptize the eunuch until that he had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, he was baptized.“
Nowhere in the Bible do you find babies or small children being baptized. The reason is, they are too young to know the difference between good and bad and that they need Jesus Christ as their Saviour. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then you need to be baptized. If you were baptized before you were saved, then it was not Bible baptism. Bible baptism always follows salvation.
What does baptism do?
- It shows we have confessed our sinful condition to God – Matthew 3:6: “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.“
- It fulfills all righteousness – Matthew 3:13-15 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.“ Righteousness is the condition of being pleasing or acceptable unto God. So, baptism is an act of faith, or pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him…“
- It shows we have received the counsel of God and have not rejected it – Luke 7:29-30“And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.“
- It shows that we have gladly received the Word Of God – Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.“
- It adds us to the church – Acts 2:41 “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.“
- It shows we agree with the preacher – Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.“
- It shows we have believed with all our heart – Acts 8:36-38 “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.“
- It shows we have opened our heart to the Lord – Acts 16:14-15 “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.“
- It shows we have put on Christ – Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.“ A policeman is identified and recognized by his uniform. In the same sense, we are identified and recognized as Christ’s when we are baptized. In a sense, baptism puts on the uniform of Christianity. The uniform does not make the policeman a policeman, it only identifies him as such. Baptism does not make us a Christian, it only identifies us as such.
- It pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ – Romans 6:3-5 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:“ Remember, a picture is not the real thing. It is only a likeness of the real thing.
How is baptism conducted at Calvary Baptist Church?
- It will usually take place at the end of a church service
- When the invitation begins, you shall proceed to the changing rooms to get ready for the baptism
- The church provides you with a baptismal robe (specially designed – zips in the front) with towels and a hair dryer
- You may choose to bring a change of undergarments, but it is not necessary. The robes are not see-through nor clinging – even when wet
- When you have your robe on, you can stand at the base of the baptistery stairs and wait for instructions to come into the baptistery
- The baptistery is designed with a place for you to be seated in the water
- When you are seated, face the stairs in the baptistery towards the pastor’s left side
- In the bottom stair is a place for your feet, so that when you are put back into the water, your legs will remain in the water
- The pastor will instruct you what to do with your hands. You will be able to pinch your nose shut to prevent water from entering
- The pastor will ask you a question such as “Are you glad you are saved?”
- Then, he will pray and baptize you – putting you back, under the water and then quickly bringing you back up out of the water
- When that is finished, the baptism is done. You may go back to your changing room and get dressed. You can leave the baptismal robe and towels in the changing room
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the baptism take place in front of the church folks? Yes. The baptistery is behind the choir loft. Just remember, most of the folks that will witness your baptism have been baptized in the same way
- Is the water warm? Yes, the water is heated? It is always good to make sure that the pastor knows a couple of days in advance that you are submitting to baptism. This will ensure the baptistery is readied and the heater is turned on
- How long will the baptism take? The actual baptism takes about one minute
- What if I have been baptized before? Remember, baptism in the Bible always follows salvation (see Section 2 – “Who should be baptized?”)
- What if I have already been baptized after I was saved? Calvary Baptist Church will only accept as members those who have scriptural Baptist baptism from a Baptist church that holds to the same doctrines as this church. Baptism identifies you with the church that baptized you. To be a Catholic, one must be baptized a Catholic. To be a Presbyterian, one must have Presbyterian baptism. It logically follows, in order to be a Baptist, one must have Baptist baptism
We do not hold the name Baptist because we had to have some kind of name. We hold the name Baptist because Baptists stand for the absolute authority of the Word of God. Churches that do not have the name Baptist either do not believe as Baptists do, or they don’t like the name. We like the name Baptist and we are thankful for it!