Water Baptism

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Celebrating your new relationship with God!

The first story we read in the gospels about Jesus as an adult is His baptism. The last thing Jesus said to His disciples before ascending into heaven was that they should go throughout the world making disciples and baptizing them. Baptism is obviously a very important activity in the New Testament.


Frequently asked questions about baptism:

Why should I be baptized?

You don’t need to be baptized to be saved.

The New Testament teaches that a person is saved by repentance from sin and faith in Christ. “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.) In Luke 23, the thief on the cross recognized who Jesus was, reached out to Him, and Jesus promised him salvation. That dying thief had no opportunity to be baptized.

You need to be baptized to be obedient to Jesus.

We are commanded to be baptized as a part of being His disciple. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28:19) Thus, we don’t get baptized when we “feel like it,” or when we “get around to it” or when we are “led to it by the Lord.” Baptism is one of only two ordinances or rituals that Jesus commands us to observe for all time. The other is The Lord’s Table, or what is often called communion.

Baptism is the public profession of your faith.

Baptism is done before a group of people who witness your confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is not the only way we profess to be a Christian, but it is an important way.

Baptism symbolizes your cleaning from sin.

Baptism throughout the New Testament indicated that a person had “repented” or turned away from sin. The apostles often referred to the fact that believers were washed from sin. Peter stated that the water in baptism symbolized not the cleansing of the body from dirt, but the cleansing of the conscience. (1 Peter 3:21)

Baptism symbolizes your union with Christ in His death, burial, & resurrection.

When you become a Christian, you die to sin and your old way of life and you begin a whole new life. Romans 6:8 states, “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” The very act of baptism (being immersed in the water and coming up out of the water) is a picture of what happens to you spiritually.

How should I be baptized?

Rockford First believes that people should be baptized by immersion as opposed to sprinkling or pouring. The term “baptize” literally means to immerse. This was how people in the bible were baptized. Also, immersion best symbolizes what happens spiritually when you become a Christian.

When should I be baptized?

You should be baptized as soon as possible after you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and been “born again”. Remember, you are not baptized in order to become a Christian. You are baptized because you are a Christian. We should not put off baptism, since it is a command of Jesus. Rockford First holds baptism celebrations several times per year. You can e-mail connect@rockfordfirst.com or call the church office at 815-877-8000 for more information about baptism.

What if I was baptized as an infant?

Among orthodox Christians there are different perspectives on infant baptism. Some denominations and traditions (such as Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Catholic) baptize infants while others (such as most Baptists) do not. Perhaps you were baptized as an infant. How should you view that baptism? You certainly want to show respect to your parents and their viewpoints, as well as be grateful to God for any spiritual influence they had in your life. However, our understanding of what the bible teaches is that baptism is an action that follows conversion. So, if you have not been baptized since you have made a decision for Christ, we would recommend that you get baptized

Should I be re-baptized if I was baptized in another church?

As long as you were born again when you were baptized, and as long as the other church was a Christian church, then you do not need to be re-baptized. If however, your baptism was merely a church ritual done prior to your conversion or if the church was outside of the mainstream of Christianity, then we would encourage you to be validly baptized for the first time.

Can my children be baptized?

Water Baptism is a decision made by the individual as a way to express their personal commitment to Christ. Because this commitment requires a level of cognitive and developmental readiness, we ask that children be at least 12 years old to be baptized. Proverbs 20:25 issues a significant caution against the danger of making a vow before adequate knowledge, forethought and reflection have been given. In an effort to prevent young people from making a premature commitment that they may not fully understand, this minimum age has been established. Special arrangements for families choosing to be baptized together can be made.

If you have any further questions regarding baptism, please feel free to email connect@rockfordfirst.com. You can also reach him by calling the main church line at 815-877-8000.


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