It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We live in an increasingly visually-oriented society. What people hear is often impactful, but what they both hear and then see demonstrated before their very eyes impacts them all the more. Water baptism is just such a picture.
A Picture of Spiritual Birth
When we are born physically, we are automatically identified with the earthly nation into which we are born. When the Holy Spirit of God brings us to life spiritually in Christ, the Bible says we are born again. At the moment the Holy Spirit gave us spiritual birth – that is, at the moment we repented of our sins and trusted Christ’s death as payment for them – at that very moment we were placed (baptized, dipped, immersed) into Christ’s Body (the Church universal), the present manifestation of God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13).
Once we have trusted Christ as our Savior, the Scriptures command us to give public testimony of our faith by means of water baptism. Water baptism is God’s creative way of picturing our salvation. It helps us visualize what happened to us when we were born again. Water baptism, like a picture, helps us tell others what Christ did for us on Calvary and openly identifies us with Him. Through water baptism, we are publicly identifying ourselves with Christ – with His death, His burial and His resurrection (Romans 6:1-5).
Water baptism in no way contributes to our spiritual birth. It simply bears witness to the fact that we have trusted Christ and have been born again. It is, in essence, the first step in discipleship – the first step in following Jesus as our Master and Lord.
Who should be baptized?
All who can genuinely answer yes to the following questions should be baptized:
- Are you a sinner deserving of God’s eternal judgment?
- Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son, sent to save sinners?
- Have you repented of your sins and placed your faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins and for the fulfillment of all His promises to you, even eternal life?
- Do you now desire to place yourself under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and do you intend by faith to follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
We have written a Village Distinctive paper outlining our beliefs and practices surrounding baptism.
If your child or student is interested in being baptised, we recommend that you participate in our Foundation Class called Preparing Young Christians for Baptism and Communion. We host one about every three months.