Since we planted The RESCUE Church nearly seven years ago, one issue I have been asked about often is baptism. There seems to be much confusion surrounding this subject. And once again, I will point to RELIGION as the culprit that has “muddied the waters” and brought so much confusion and misinformation to an otherwise simple, and necessary matter of obedience in the Christian faith that the Bible clearly speaks to.
I have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions in regards to baptism below and given Scriptural references for you to look up on your own. My prayer is that this might help shed some light on this subject either for you or for someone you know that you can pass this along to. Be sure to check out the video of just a few of the baptisms that we have celebrated at The RESCUE in recent years!
A. Why Should I Be Baptized?
- To follow the example set by JESUS. (Mark 1:9)
- Because CHRIST COMMANDS it. (Matthew 28:19-20)
- It demonstrates that I really am a BELIEVER. (Acts 18:8; 1 John 2:3)
B. What is the meaning of baptism?
- It illustrates Christ’s DEATH and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 2:12)
- It illustrates my NEW LIFE as a Christian. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4)
- Baptism doesn’t make you a believer — it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring — it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
C. Why Should I Be Baptized By Immersion?
- Because JESUS was baptized that way. (Matthew 3:16)
- Every baptism in the BIBLE was by immersion. (Acts 8:38-39)
- The word “Baptize” means to DIP UNDER water”. The Greek word baptizo means, “to immerse or dip under water”.
- It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!
D. Who Should Be Baptized?
- Every person who has BELIEVED in Christ. (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12,13)
E. When Should I Be Baptized?
- As soon as you have believed! (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:35-38)
F. Why Doesn’t The RESCUE Church Baptize Infants?
According to the Bible, an individual needs to realize their position before God as a sinner and then make a deliberate and willful decision to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior before they are baptized. Obviously infants are not capable of understanding such things and therefore have no need of baptism. Many parents, however, wrongly believe their infants need to be baptized in order to go to heaven.
- So what happens to a baby or young child if they die and have not been baptized? Will they go to heaven or hell?
Romans 7:9 says… “Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.”
In this verse Paul explains that there was a time in his life, before he knew God’s law, that he was alive spiritually. But at the point in which he understood God’s law and knew the difference between right and wrong he died spiritually. Many theologians refer to this as “THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY”. While that age is most likely different for each individual with some reaching it sooner than others, this verse gives us the comfort that a loving and just God would not condemn an infant or young child or even a mentally disabled adult to hell who was not able to comprehend their sin and their need for a Savior. At The RESCUE, we wait until our children are old enough to personally believe in Jesus Christ and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. It is a decision that must be their own.
If you have further questions about baptism, or if you’re ready to take this important step of obedience feel free to contact The RESCUE Church office at your earliest convenience.