What is Water Baptism?
Water baptism is not a personal choice, but a command for believers. Jesus established water baptism as an ordinance when He gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16). Baptism is a public, outward testimony that indicates a personal, inward faith. It gives evidence of the inner change that has already occurred in the believer’s life when he or she was “born again” through faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism identifies the believer with the message of the gospel, the person of Jesus Christ, and other believers. It associates the believer’s death to the old life and his or her resurrection as a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:1-8, Colossians 2:12).
Who Should Be Baptized?
All born-again believers in Jesus Christ-and only believers-should be baptized. (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 8:12, 36-38, 16:31-33, 18:8)
Should Infants and Children Be Baptized?
After Peter spoke at Pentecost, “those who gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). In the New Testament, every instance in which a person was baptized and his or her identity was given, that person was an adult. In light of the Scripture, infant baptism must be ruled out, because infants cannot receive the Word of God and understand it. However, infants are to be dedicated to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:26-28). Children may be baptized if they receive and understand God’s Word.
Is Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and according to God’s mercy (Titus 3:5). The thief on the cross next to Jesus had no time to be baptized; yet Jesus promised that he would be with Him in Paradise that day (Luke 23:43). The Bible contains no record of Jesus baptizing anyone-a strange omission if baptism were essential for salvation. The Apostle Paul declared, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” (1 Corinthians 1:17). This clearly indicates that salvation is a response of faith to the gospel-not the act of baptism. Therefore, water baptism is not an act of salvation, but an act of obedience.
When participating in water baptism with Elko Lighthouse Christian Fellowship:
Please bring a swim suit, a towel, a dark colored t-shirt and shorts to wear over your swim suit.