Baptism

Baptism

What is Baptism?

Jesus established baptism as a commitment opportunity for followers of Christ, in order to express their personal, inward faith in a public, outward declaration. After you have received God’s gift of salvation, baptism is the next step: to tell the world. 

Baptism is far more than a religious ritual. It tells your family and friends of your commitment to Jesus and your desire to live for him. In order to understand the reason for being water baptized, it is important to carefully consider what the Bible says about it

Why Be Baptized?

  1. Jesus set the example for us to follow (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9)
  2. Jesus commanded it (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16)
  3. The Apostles reiterated Jesus’ command (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:26-40)

At Church on the Rock, we believe that any individual who genuinely receives Christ as their Saviour and has made a clear and intentional choice to follow Christ should be baptized. Everyone who believed during New Testament times was baptized immediately after their belief.

We do not believe that baptism is required for salvation. Paul’s ministry was focused on the Gospel (the Good News of salvation), yet he didn’t baptize many (1 Cor. 1:14). Salvation is through faith in Jesus’s work on the cross plus nothing.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

NOTE – We do not perform infant baptisms. There is a beautiful understanding of infant baptism as setting a child apart for Christ, however we perform Believers Baptism. We believe that an individual who is baptized must have a personal faith in Jesus and understand clearly what baptism means before they are baptized.

For older children, we handle each case separately and leave it to the discretion of the child’s parents and pastoral staff as to whether or the child is ready to be baptized. 

How Do We Baptize?

We baptize the same way that Jesus was, by immersion (Matthew 3:16). The word “baptize” in the Bible means “To immerse, dip under, or plunge into water.” Every specific baptism in the Bible was by immersion under water.

  1. We are identified with His death, burial and resurrection (Colossians 2:12)
  2. We are burying our old life and its ways and rise to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:2-4)
  3. Baptism also connects us to the local church. In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Writing your Testimony

As part of your baptism at Church on the Rock, you’ll be asked to share your testimony, or your faith story. For guidance on how to write your testimony, check out the testimonies from our most recent Baptism Sunday, as well as the guide below:

Elements of Your Faith Story:

  1. Social/Cultural Context: The communities, cultures and social circumstances that God places us in are part of his plan for our lives. How has God used the environments you have lived in to shape your spiritual story?
  2. Family Life: God has placed each one of in families (and extended families) and uses these in a variety of ways in our spiritual journey. How has God used your family situation to positively influence your spiritual journey?
  3. Evolution of Belief: Our spiritual story will often contain an evolution of belief with respect to who God is and his relationship with us. How has God grown your understanding to a saving belief in Him?
  4. Repentance: Repentance is a very important aspect of our spiritual journey from beginning to end. It includes the acknowledgement of sin in our lives and our need for forgiveness, followed by the turning to Christ (for mercy & forgiveness) and the turning away from sin. How has God interacted in your life to bring you to repentance?
  5. A Turning Point: Sometimes we are able to look back in our spiritual journey to a specific event or point in time when “everything changed” in our relationship with God (a tipping point). Consider if there was a situation or circumstance that dramatically altered/accelerated your relationship with God.
  6. The Holy Spirit: Our entire spiritual journey is dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit manifesting himself in a variety of ways (e.g. guiding, convicting, teaching, gifting, empowering, praying and developing (fruit of the spirit)). How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work in your life?
  7. Influence of People: God will often use specific people in our lives to shape our journey with him. Who are the people that God has used at different times to positively impact your spiritual life?
  8. Impact of the Church: God often uses specific churches (of various traditions) throughout our life to shape our spiritual journey. How has God used the local expressions of his church to assist you in your spiritual journey?
  9. Crisis of Life: God will sometimes use the tragedies in life to grow us in our relationship with him. What crisis (family issues, health issues, difficult circumstances etc.) has God used to grow you in your relationship with him?
  10. Trust and Assurance: Our experience of trusting God with our lives and the assurance of belonging to his family will often develop throughout our spiritual journey. How have you seen God develop these two aspects of your spiritual life?
  11. Baptism: Baptism is a definite spiritual marker in our lives that God can use to grow us in our relationship with him. Do you have a sense how God may be using process of baptism in your life?
  12. Role of the Scriptures: God has given us his Word (as found in the Holy Scriptures) to help guide and direct our lives. How has God used the scriptures throughout your spiritual journey?
  13. Allegiance and Devotion: A key element of our spiritual journey centres on our allegiance and devotion to Christ. Consider where in your spiritual story Christ has called you to a deeper level of obedience and loyalty to him?
  14. God Given Longings: God has made us all unique and he meets the deepest longings of our heart. What is it that draws you toward God? What desire does he meet for you? (E.g. “a longing for peace”, “a longing for home”, “mercy/forgiveness”, “freedom”, “joy”, “purpose” etc.)

If you are interested in baptism, contact Katy at info@churchontherock.ca.