Baptism

BAPTISM Beliefs of Creekstone Church

Baptism is shown as the “Believers rite of passage” in the New Testament.  It helps us to clearly show that we have released our old ways and are connecting to the new ways of the Lord. However, it alone does not save us.  Our belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and our confession of that fact saves us.

What is Baptism?

Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death, burial, and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and that a new life in Christ has begun free from the mastery of sin.

As a symbol, baptism illustrates a number of significant realities:

  1. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

  2. The disciple’s union with Christ.

  3. The new life in which a disciple walks.

  4. Cleansing and washing away of sin.

Who should be baptized? or Why should a person be baptized?

Baptism is an act that is for people who believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. 

Mark 16: 15-16 says: 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  (NIV)

This passage let us know that baptism should most definitely be followed by belief.  Romans 10:9-10 also lets us know that confession and belief are the precursor to salvation.  It says: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (NIV)

Baptism is also connected with Godly instruction and evangelism.  Matthew 28:19-20 says: 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

We must believe in the Word of God, and understand the redemptive power of what Jesus did on the cross.  God has given every believer a charge to go out and build his kingdom by teaching the people in His ways.  This message of hope and faith must be spread throughout the world by the believers.  Baptism helps to solidify an outward stance while releasing an inward struggle with sin.  It should be the act that puts the God in you on display while encouraging you to walk in the newness of Christ.  If you are ready to depart from your old ways and take on Jesus’ purpose for you, Baptism is a step that will symbolize this movement in your life.  Roman 6:2-4 says: 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.

When should a person be baptized?

A person should be baptized as soon as they understand and believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior. Acts 8:12 says: 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

God loves when we respond to His word with action.  In New Testament times, when you were converted to belief in Jesus Christ, Baptism was sure to follow.  It is one of the ways we express our faith and gratitude to God for saving our souls.

How should a person be baptized?

The Greek word “baptizo” translated into the English language means “to immerse, dip, or submerge.  Jesus was fully immersed when He was baptized.  Matthew 3:16 says:  16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.

Baptism by immersion is the preferred method of baptism by the Creekstone Church.  It is the method we believe that properly identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  There are other methods of baptism such as sprinkling or pouring.  However, we believe that the method of immersion was the method of Christ and so it will be ours as well.   

Where should a person be baptized?

A person can be baptized at a church that follows the ordinances of God and that is rightly dividing the Word of truth.  Baptisms in the modern church are mostly performed by ministers, deacons, or elders in the church.  If God has placed on your heart to be baptized, talk to one of the ministry leaders of the church and they will be happy to put you on the road to baptism. 

In closing, baptism shows the world that we believe that Jesus is our Savior and that we are dead to the mastery of sin and alive in Him.  It’s an expression of our faith that lets others know that we belong the God through Jesus Christ.  Baptism is one of the two ordinances (The Lord’s Supper being the other) that God has believers follow in the New Testament.  Not only do we see baptism of water in the gospels but of the Holy Spirit as well.  John 3:5 says:  5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. (NIV)

This scripture lets us know that we need the Spirit of God as well as belief in God to be a part of His kingdom.  As believers at the Creekstone Church, we would like to encourage both baptisms.  We need the water baptism to symbolize death to self and life in Christ.  However, we also need the baptism of the Spirit to solidify our faith and growth in God.  All believers receive the Holy Spirit upon belief in Jesus Christ and are encouraged walk in the acknowledgement that He resides with us daily as He uses us for His glory.  We must always seek growth and the fulfilment of our purpose in Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we don’t rise in Christ just to sit down.  We rise in Christ to live for Him as we spread the gospel of Jesus Christ everywhere we go.