Why Baptism Matters

By Ryan Dawson

There are few things in the life of the Church more amazing that witnessing baptisms! To see people publicly and joyfully declare their allegiance to Jesus Christ in the presence of their Church family, is both encouraging and inspiring.   November 13 is Baptism Sunday at Sequoia, and we are inviting believers who have yet to be baptized by immersion, to step out in faith and obedience.  If this is you I want to encourage you to trust Jesus with this step and to let me know you are interested.  I also want to encourage you to invite others in your Impact Community or Church network to consider taking this important step if they have not yet done so.   I have added some helpful information about baptism below.   And remember, there is always blessing on the other side of obedience.  

For Christ and His Kingdom,  Ryan

The Significance and Symbolism of Christian Baptism

Why should I be baptized?  

To follow the example set by Jesus. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9
Because Christ commands it. “Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” Matthew 28:19-20
Baptism demonstrates that I’m really a believer. “...many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8 “We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” 1 John 2:3

What is the meaning of baptism?

Baptism illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection. “Christ died for our sins. He was buried...and He rose again.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ. Colossians 2:12
Baptism illustrates my new life as a Christian. “ When someone becomes a Christian they become a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 “By our baptism, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, so also we may live a new life.” 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. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Why be baptized by immersion?

Because Jesus was baptized that way. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16.
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. (Example) “...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water...” Acts 8:38-39
The Greek word baptizo (Baptize) literally means to “immerse or dip under” water.
Immersion best symbolizes a burial and resurrection.

Who should be baptized?

Every person who has believed and received Christ.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized...” Acts 2:41 “Simon himself believed and was baptized...” Acts 8:13 “But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News...and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
At Sequoia, we will wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was a "believers baptism", only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.

When should I be baptized?

As soon as you become a believer.  “Those who believed...were baptized...that day!” Acts 2:41
“Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you should be baptized. If you wait until you feel perfect, you’ll never feel good enough. In baptism we rest in the grace of God!  

Can my family be baptized together?

Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with our Next Generation Leader or Kids Ministry Director for a pre-baptism conversation.
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.

What should I wear when I am baptized?  

Women should wear a swim suit with a t-shirt and shorts; men may wear shorts or swim suit with a t-shirt. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
Will I have to say anything?

If you want to share a brief testimony of how you came to enter a personal relationship with Christ, please inform Pastor Ryan at least one week prior the baptism service. But you can be baptized without sharing your testimony. Your public step of baptism is a testimony in itself.  

For questions on baptism or to request to be baptized please email Pastor Ryan Dawson at ryand@sequoiachurch.org or fill in the ConNEXTion Card on the Sequoia App or website.  

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