Baptism – Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I be Baptized?
Because we want to be obedient to Christ. He said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit …” Matthew 28:19 (NASB). This is the first and most important reason for being baptized. But baptism also serves as a reminder of what Christ did for us on the cross. Baptism is an acknowledgement of your faith in Christ before family and friends.
What Does Baptism Mean?
Baptism illustrates Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and is commanded by God’s Word: “… that Christ died for our sins … that He was buried … and that He was raised …” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB). Christians should look back on their baptism as a way to remember and understand the sacrifice Christ made for us.
Baptism illustrates A believer’s new life as a Christian: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might was in newness of life.” Romans 6:4 (NASB). Baptism does not save you. Baptism should remind us that God loves us and that we are now living a new life.
When Should I be Baptized?
You should be baptized soon after you commit your life to Christ. There is no reason to delay. You are ready to be baptized the moment you gave your life to Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you’re waiting until you’re perfect, you’ll never be ready. “Those who had received his word … were baptized and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41 (NASB).
It is also important to know that it is never too late to be baptized. Many people, for a variety of reasons, wait and decide to be baptized well after becoming a Christian. While this is not the way Jesus designed baptism to work, it is still important for a believer to be baptized even if it has been years since becoming a Christian. There is no reason to wait.[/tab]
Should I Be Re-Baptized?
Baptism is a believer’s first act of obedience. Typically baptism is a one-time event, not to be repeated. Even if one is baptized, falls away from Jesus, and then rededicates, they would not be re-baptized back into the faith. They have already been obedient to Christ and their original baptism remains valid.
Under certain circumstances, however, one’s original “baptism” may not have followed the biblical example. In this scenario, a re-baptism may be appropriate. Here are specific instances where a re-baptism would be called for: 1) Being baptized into a non-Christian church. 2) Being baptized without first having sincerely accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 3) Being baptized as an infant, therefore lacking the personal faith necessary. 4) Being baptized without immersion (ie being sprinkled). In these scenarios, being re-baptized would be appropriate since the individual had not previously submitted to the proper scriptural example.
If you have already been baptized under proper scriptural circumstances, being re- baptized is not the next step. You have already been obedient to Jesus in this area. Your next step is a full rededication of your life to Christ.