1. Why be baptized?
Because Jesus and the early church command it.
Jesus said, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-19
Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
To follow Jesus’ example
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Mark 1:9
2. The meaning of baptism
To baptize (baptizo) means to immerse, to dip
Baptism symbolizes dying to your old sinful life and being made new in Christ
when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ. Colossians 2:12
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Baptism symbolizes the forgiveness and cleansing of sins made possible by Jesus
Ananias said, “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” Acts 22:16
Baptism symbolizes becoming part of the Body of Christ
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Going down into the water it is a picture of:
Dying to your old sinful ways, to your old life lived apart from God
Your sins being buried because Jesus died for them on the cross
Rising out of the water it is a picture of:
Rising up to new life with Jesus
Your decision to live now with Jesus, in obedience to Him
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We 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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:1-11
Baptism is an external act representing an inner reality. Baptism does not make you a believer. It shows that you are one. Baptism does not “save” you. Only faith in Christ does that:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith [trust in Christ]—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
3. How do we baptize at OTC?
By immersion (Matthew 3:16, Acts 8:38-39).
4. Who can be baptized?
Those who believe
He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31
Those who accepted his message were baptized Acts 2:41
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12
5. Am I ready to be baptized?
Baptism is for anyone who has put their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, and has decided to follow Him—to do life with Him, and in obedience to Him. You are ready to be baptized if you have come to this point in your spiritual journey. This is the pattern in the New Testament: belief followed by baptism (Acts 2:41, 8:36-38, 9:18, 10:47, 16:33).
Since belief is necessary we do not baptize infants/children until they are old enough to understand the meaning of baptism. Instead, we follow the pattern of dedicating infants/children to the Lord (Ps 127:3, Prov 22:6, Deut 6:5-7, 1 Sam 1:27-18, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 2:22). Read more about this topic.
6. What if I was baptized as an infant?
We encourage people who were baptized as infants to talk to us about being baptized again after they make their own personal decision put their faith in Jesus and follow him. The purpose is not to devalue a prior experience, but to honor the prayers and intentions of your parents/guardians when they baptized you and to fulfill Jesus’ commands. OTC values and respects the tradition of other churches who practice infant baptism and confirmation.
7. Will I have to say anything?
Pastor Wayne will introduce you and ask you why you’ve decided to be baptized. Please write out your answer beforehand and keep it under 200 words.
He will then ask you, “Do you confess that Jesus has paid for your sins and is now Lord of your life?”
You will then want to hold your nose and cross your arms and Wayne will lean you back into the water, and up and out.
We’ll help you out, and you can watch anyone else being baptized, and then walk to the bathroom and change. Then come back and join us for the rest of the service.
8. When will it happen?
The baptisms will take place early in the service, after the first set of music and before the message. Please arrive at church 15 minutes early for final instructions.
9. What should I wear and bring?
Wear shorts or pants and a dark shirt that doesn’t show through when wet. Bare feet, flip flops, or wet shoes all work fine. Please be modest.
Bring a towel, bag for wet clothes, and a set of dry clothes to change into afterward.
10. What water will be used?
We use a portable baptism pool large enough for the person being baptized. Pastor Wayne will stand outside the pool. You are welcome to have someone else up there with you as well.
Feel free to have people take pictures, and enjoy the moment as you mark your commitment to Jesus.