WHAT BAPTISM IS NOT:
• It is not a statement that you know all the answers
• It is not entrance into church membership
• It is not a statement saying that you are perfect
• It is not a statement that says you will be a missionary
• It does not somehow convince God to love you more
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
OLD TESTAMENT | 2 Kings 5:14 for Naaman’s dipping in the Jordan River seven times for cleansing from his skin disease.
At some point close to the time of Jesus, Judaism began a heavy emphasis on ritual washings to cleanse from impurity. This goes back to priestly baths prior to offering sacrifices (Leviticus 16:4; Leviticus 16:24). Probably shortly prior to the time of Jesus or contemporary with Him, Jews began baptizing Gentile converts, though circumcision still remained the primary entrance rite into Judaism.
JOHN’S BAPTISM | John the Baptist immersed repentant sinners: those who had a change of mind and heart (Mark 1: 1-8). John’s baptism—for Jews and Gentiles—involved the same elements later interpreted in Christian baptism: repentance, confession, evidence of changed lives, coming judgment, and the coming of the kingdom of God through the Messiah, who would baptize with the Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11). John thus formed a purified community waiting for God’s great salvation.
JESUS’ BAPTISM | John also baptized Jesus, who never sinned (Mark 1:9-13). Jesus said that His own baptism was to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). Thus Jesus acknowledged that the standard of life John demanded was correct for Himself and for His followers. In this way He was able to identify with sinful mankind and to be a model for others to follow. In this way Jesus affirmed John and his message. The coming of the Spirit and the voice from heaven showed that Jesus represented another point in God’s revelation of Himself and formed the connection between baptism and Christ’s act of redemption.
CHRISTIAN BAPTISM | Before a person was baptized in water two key events had already occurred in that person’s life.
REPENTANCE – “repent” (metanoesate). This word implies a complete change of heart and the confession of sin. Paul is a great example; Acts 9 note v18, Ethiopian Acts 8:26-38
HOLY SPIRIT – unlike John’s baptism, when a believer was baptized the Holy Spirit had already taken up residence in the believer’s life. Romans 8:9, 10, 11. In fact the moment you repented you were baptized by the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13. The word baptized means to dip, immerse, submerge, to wash, make clean, to overwhelm.
Thus for the believer when they were baptized by water it was symbolic of a work that God had already done in a persons life. It also was not a response to a wish or preference of God but a command of God ( Matthew 28:19,20). Thus to be a believer and not be baptized was to be living in disobedience.
It represents outwardly what God has already done internally.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized 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 live a new life.” Romans 6:1-4
It represents that you are part of community and committing to community
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
YOUR TESTIMONY |
As you prepare to shoot your video testimony we suggest:
• Writing down exactly what you want to say and time yourself (approx. 3 mins)
• Don’t worry about memorizing it, we will help you with that
• Use normal everyday language. Your story can be a powerful testimony and can speak deeply into someone’s life. Thus keep it simple and real.
• Make sure you clearly identify when you came to Christ. If you don’t know when, be sure to clarify that you know that transaction occured.
• Please bring any photos, artwork, etc that we may use to support your testimony and bring life to your video
• Please do not wear white on the day of your video shoot as the background is white
ON THE DAY OF YOUR BAPTISM |
• Please be sure to come at least 30 mins prior to the service
• Bring a towel, dark shorts and t-shirt (you can wear your bathing suit underneath), and sandles
• Invite your family and friends!
• And be prepared…..“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20