The Meaning of Baptism

Baptism is a symbolic picture of a Christian’s union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).  At the moment of salvation, the old nature is buried with Christ in his death and is no longer a dominant power. The new nature is raised with Christ and becomes the all-new-basis of living the Christian life.

Why Should I Be Baptized?

1. To follow the example set by Christ.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” (Mark 1:9)
2. Because Christ commanded it.
“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19–20)

3. It demonstrates that I am a believer.
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” (1 John 2:3)

When Should I Be Baptized?

As soon as you can after you become a believer! In the New Testament church, Christians were baptized as soon as they believed.

“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 travelled 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)

The Bible teaches that there is no reason to delay your baptism. After becoming a believer, you should participate in the next available opportunity your church provides for baptism. If you wait until you feel you are a “good enough” believer, you will never feel ready for baptism.

Who Should Be Baptized?

The Bible says that every person who believes in Christ should be baptized. A believer is someone who has realized that their sin has separated them from God. They have given up all personal efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between themselves and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you should be baptized. (see Acts 2:41; 8:12-13)

Baptized as an Infant?

Jesus loves children. In the Bible, we see parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told everyone around to welcome them. In fact, he says in Matthew 18.5 that when we welcome children, we welcome Jesus. He also publicly rebukes the disciples when they try to prevent the children from being prayed for by Jesus. While Jesus does pray for children, there is no place in scripture where He baptizes children, nor does he command children to be baptized by parents.  If baptism communicates salvation, as the Bible teaches, only people who have intentionally and personally made a decision to receive salvation should experience baptism. Thus, the Bible would indicate that baptism is for people who have made a personal, conscious decision to follow Christ. If you have not chosen to be baptized since you have made a personal decision to follow Christ,  we strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ.
Crossroads Bible Church practices child dedication. While we pray over children in a service, this is also a time when parents dedicate their child to the Lord and commit themselves to raise their child according to Christian values and beliefs, to the best of their ability. In some ways, a child dedication is just as much about the child as it is about the parents.  While a very meaningful event, this is not a Christian baptism, according to the Bible.