WHY DO WE PRACTICE BAPTISM?
Baptism is a wonderful gift from God. Baptism by immersion is typically a once in a lifetime initiation event celebrating and marking the beginning of the Christian life.
Since the time of the writing of the New Testament several different practices regarding baptism have been introduced into churches. Sometimes this creates questions and confusion. It is important to review what the Bible teaches and to act according to God’s Word.
Would you like to be baptized?
If you’re ready to be baptized, you may use our sign up form to schedule a date and time.
QUESTIONS ABOUT BAPTISM
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE SET BY JESUS.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9
BECAUSE JESUS COMMANDS 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
IT DEMONSTRATES THAT I REALLY AM A BELIEVER IN JESUS.
“. . . many of the people who heard him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
IT ILLUSTRATES THE GOSPEL, THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.
“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
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? . . .we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” Romans 6:3, 5
IT ASSURES ME OF THE CLEANSING FORGIVENESS OF MY SINS.
“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.” Acts 22:16
“And this is a picture of baptism, which now saves you by the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God for a clean conscience.” 1 Peter 3:21 NLT
IT ILLUSTRATES MY 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
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” Romans 6:4
IT INITIATES AND MARKS MY CONNECTION WITH CHRIST.
“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.” Galatians 3:27
WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
BECAUSE JESUS WAS BAPTIZED THAT WAY.
“…as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
EVERY BAPTISM IN THE BIBLE WAS BY IMMERSION.
“…Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38-39
THE NEW TESTAMENT WORD “BAPTIZE” MEANS TO PLUNGE UNDER WATER.
The Greek word baptizo means “to immerse or dip under water.”
IT BEST SYMBOLIZES A BURIAL AND RESURRECTION!
Look at what the great leaders and commentators say:
“I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports.” – Martin Luther
“The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.” – John Calvin
Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.” – John Wesley
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
EVERY PERSON WHO HAS BELIEVED IN CHRIST.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:12
“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
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16
WHAT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN?
At River Hills Christian Church we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the need to accept Jesus as Savior before baptizing them. Baptism in the Bible was only for those old enough to believe.
We recognize some churches practice a baptism of confirmation or “christening” of children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. Parents promise to raise the child in faith until the child is old enough to make a personal decision to accept and confess Christ. This custom was initiated about 300 years after the Bible was completed. Infant baptism is a testimony to the faith of parents, but we must each come to God by means of our own personal faith.
At River Hills we ask every person who wants to be a partner in our congregation to be baptized by immersion as Jesus modeled and commanded as a personal choice, even though many of us were “christened” or confirmed as children.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
AS SOON AS YOU BELIEVE!
“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 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
“At that hour of the night … immediately he and all his family were baptized.” Acts 16:33
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, you may be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect”, you will never feel “good enough” to be baptized. Baptism is for the believer, not the perfect. Baptisms can be performed on any day of the week and we will gladly arrange for your baptism whenever you desire it.
CAN MY FAMILY BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?
Yes! – If each family member understands and trusts in Jesus Christ as their Savior. We encourage families who come to faith together to be baptized together as a witness of their common unity in Christ. Young children should be encouraged and questioned to be sure they understand and really are ready to trust Christ.
It is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept and follow Jesus. This puts undue pressure on them, and delays your own response to God’s will.
WHERE SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
Any suitable place there is enough water will do. Our baptistery at church is ready right now and always available. Our church building has changing rooms, baptismal robes, short, shirts and towels available for use. Swimming pools, hot tubs, rivers and ponds can also be used. It is a great witness for the Kingdom to be baptized before others but not required.
WHO CAN BAPTIZE ME?
Any Christian can baptize. There is no Scriptural direction or difference between “clergy and laity”. If you have led a person to Christ, we encourage you to perform that baptism. Of course, the staff ministers are available to perform baptisms for any believer. All our staff and pastors can perform baptisms and work with special circumstances.
WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?
No. If you have already confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, you have said it all. Baptism itself is a testimony. The one performing the baptism will probably make some statements or share scriptures with you and ask you if you are trusting Christ. Then you will be baptized into Christ, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Later you will receive a Baptism Certificate. If you are aware of your baptism in advance we encourage you to invite your friends.