Baptism by Immersion

If you are considering taking the next step in baptism, learn about
what baptism means to us and why it is a great next step.

In scripture, baptism is included as part of the faith response of those who accept God's gift, and baptism is vitally important to one's acceptance of salvation. It depicts our repentance and identifies us with Christ. Jesus himself was baptized, so that alone should be reason enough for us to follow suit.

Baptism speaks to the reality of the victory of Jesus in our lives. Baptism is proof of our salvation and part of our public profession of faith and repentance from sin. But Baptism is no more 'saving' in itself than saying a particular prayer or walking up an aisle or going to church or studying the Bible or feeding the poor. Some of those things are explicit commands for people who are saved, but that doesn't make those acts the same things that save us.

Salvation is the work of God alone. There were times when Jesus attached baptism to the proclamation of His gospel and times when He did not. What we can say is that the Bible commands baptism. We can't under-emphasize the importance of baptism in the process of becoming a sold-out follower of Jesus. Paul wrote, "We died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives," (Romans 6:4).

When Jesus died, they placed Him in a tomb, and on the third day He rose again. When we become followers of Christ, we enter into new relationships with Him. We are buried with Him in baptism, just as He died and was buried, and then we are raised from the water just as He was raised from the dead. This illustrates our new life in Jesus.

After Peter spoke about Jesus in the early days of the church, the people were moved and they asked the question, "Now what do we do?" Here's how Peter responded to them" "Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Three thousand people were baptized that day. They didn't 'have all their questions answered. They didn't have their lives worked out. Most had only just heard the message of Jesus that day, but they came to follow Him and be baptized immediately. You don't need to get your life worked out to get baptized — you get baptized as a part of working your life out and leaning into the power of God.

Baptism // Story

Chuck & Jimmy

So what's the big deal with going underwater for a second?

Chuck is a pastor in Southern California. In his congregation is a man named Jimmy from Indonesia. He was living legally in America, but his time was running out, and he was requesting asylum on the grounds of religious persecution. If he went back to Indonesia, he most certainly would suffer for being a Christian, and he would be abused and persecuted. The federal courts of the United States already believed that he would be persecuted. This was not a question for them. The question they were asking was this: "Is Jimmy a genuine Christian?"

So Chuck was asked to testify that he knew Jimmy to be a true Christian. In this setting, only the judge asks questions. He looked to Church and asked, "Do you know Jimmy to be a baptized believer in Jesus Christ?"

Chuck said, "Yes."
Judge: "Did you witness his baptism?"
Chuck: "No"
Judge: "Does your church accept his baptism?"
Chuck: "Yes."

Chuck has a speech ready about the character of this guy, but the judge said, "That's all I need to know." Chuck tried to tell him about how Jimmy read the Bible and prayed, but the judge just said, "No, that's all I need to know."

If Chuck had said he was not a baptized believer, he would have been deported. But the only question the federal courts ask is, "Are you a baptized believer in Jesus Christ?" They do this for two reasons. First, the federal courts of the United States, based on study and research, have it in their policy that entrance into the historic Christian faith is shown tangibly in baptism. The second reason this question is so important is because radical Islamic fundamentalists trying to enter America to do harm will say they are Christians to get in. But they will never say they are baptized. Baptism is too big of a deal. They can't bear to pledge that kind of loyalty to a Jesus they don't really follow. So the screening question for our government on whether you are a Christian or not is, "Are you a baptized believer in Jesus Christ?"

The U.S. government, radical Islam, and Jesus Himself all see baptism as important. the Bible mentions that Jesus went out to the River Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. For Jesus, this was a walk of about sixty miles. That's how important and significant baptism was to Him.

When we are baptized, we are in effect stating, "I've made my decision, I submit to God. I stand with Jesus Christ. From this moment on, I pledge to put him above everything else - money, achievement, family, pleasure."

Make The Decision

After giving your life to Christ, one of the most important decisions
you can make is to go public for Jesus by being baptized in water.

Baptism is an outward sign of an inward commitment that you made when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Baptism is not about being perfect, but rather, making a life-long commitment to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Northgate is a non-denominational church with an online campus and two beautiful physical locations in the Bay area. Our staff and volunteers can't wait to meet and pray with you.

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