Baptism - Frequently Asked Questions
Why be baptized?
1. Because you want to follow Christ's example. "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river" (Mark 1:9).
2. Because Christ commanded it. "Jesus said, 'Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you'" (Matthew 28:19-20).
3. Because it shows you are a believer. " ... many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized" (Acts 18:8).
4. Because obeying Christ's command shows you know Him. "We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands" (1 John 2:3).
What is the meaning of baptism?
1. It is a symbol of Christ's burial and resurrection. "Christ died for our sins ... he was buried ... and he rose again" (1 Corinthians. 15:3,4). "For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ" (Colossians 2:12).
2. It is a symbol of your new life as a Christian. "When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). "By our baptism then we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead also we might live a new life!" (Romans 6:4). Baptism does not make you a believer, it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring—it's the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
How are we to be baptized?
1. Like Jesus was baptized, children, teens and adults are immersed in water. "As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water" (Matthew 3:16).
2. The word "baptize" literally means "to dip under water." The Greek word "baptizo" means "to immerse or dip under water."
3. It is the best way to picture a burial and resurrection. Who should be baptized? Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ. "Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized" (Acts 2:41). "But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News ... And the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). "Simon himself believed and was baptized ..." (Acts 8:13). The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ! We do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe.
When are we to be baptized?
As soon as you have believed! You shouldn't delay. "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 traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch 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 official answered, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him" (Acts 8:36-39, paraphrase). There is no reason to delay. As soon as a person decides to believe in Christ, he or she can and should be baptized.
What about being baptized twice?
Our church does not feel that you need to be baptized again if you have already been baptized (even as an infant) since the sign of baptism is valid whenever it occurs. However, you are welcome to be baptized a second time if you feel the Lord is leading you to make this profession of faith at this time.
Who will baptize me?
If there is someone who has made a significant impact on your Journey with Jesus, you can invite them to be a part of baptizing you. They need to have already been baptized and be following the Lord. Many people have their small group leader, ministry team leader, or friend baptize them. Several pastors and ministers from Northland regularly perform baptisms.
Can a family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment.
Can I invite friends and family to my baptism?
Absolutely! We would love to have your friends and family there to celebrate with you.
Will I have to say anything?
Not much! At the beginning of the baptism service, the pastor will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. Following that, the pastor will introduce you by reading your name and invite you to tell a bit of your story—how you came to Northland and when you started following Christ. You will then enter the water to be baptized. The pastor will ask you one question: "Have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior." You only have to answer, "Yes." Then, the pastor will briefly lower you just under the water, and then you will leave the water, dry off, and watch with others. We are so happy that you desire to follow the Lord's example in baptism. There will be many others baptized with you. Many people like yourself have been baptized in pools, lakes and the ocean!
What do I wear?
Guys: A swimsuit or shorts and a shirt is just fine. Ladies: A swimsuit, shorts and a shirt (dark color) is just fine. Bottom line, wear what makes you comfortable. Bring a towel to dry off before you leave. You can use the restrooms to change in.