In many ways, Believers’ Baptism is what gives Baptists their strongest identity within the Christian faith community. We baptize those who are old enough to have made a commitment to Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. This assumes for an individual a maturity to understand decisions and commitments.
We baptize those who are able to affirm that a personal relationship with Christ will provide answers that will shape their lives. Baptists affirm that baptism is our response to an act of grace already accomplished in our lives. It is symbolic of the new life in Christ.
The literal meaning of “baptize” is “to dip under” or “completely immerse”. Baptism by immersion, the traditional Baptist practice, symbolizes the dying of the old life, and rising again to new life.
To a great degree, baptism involves the whole community of faith. It is a public profession of faith, and this witness strengthens the body of believers, as we welcome a new child of God into our church family.
In our tradition, Baptism is administered as an outward sign of an inward call God has made on the life of the believer. It is a richly symbolic gesture which points to a cleansing of the heart, as well as witness to the death and resurrection of our Lord. Perhaps you have been talking with the Lord about entering these waters. If so, the Pastor will be happy to include you in a series of pre-baptism sessions which will explore the meanings and history of this foundational piece of our Baptist tradition. Speak with Pastor John on this.