Baptism

Baptism is one of the greatest shared experiences we have at Stateline Church! We practice and teach that once an individual becomes a believer and a follower of Christ, he or she should be baptized as a way of publicly declaring their faith. Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God and the decision to follow Christ. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration that a person’s former way of life has been put to death, and vividly depicts that he or she is a new creation and has new life in Christ.

“You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” – Acts 22:15-16

Are you ready to be baptized or thinking about taking that step?

Why baptism?

Stateline Church practices and teaches that once a person becomes a believer and a disciple of Christ, he or she should be baptized as a public step of obedience to Jesus Christ. Another term for this is “believer’s baptism”.

Baptism is an outward expression of an inward commitment to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Baptism is for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work through faith in Him and has become His follower. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the church, and the world; a believer should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts that he or she is a new creation and has new life in Christ Jesus.

What is baptism?

Stateline Church describes baptism as a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death, burial and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and symbolically depicts a release from their old life of sin.

Baptism symbolizes a number of significant realities:

  • Christ’s death, burial and resurrection
  • The disciple’s union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection
  • The new life in which a disciple has because of Jesus
  • The cleansing and washing away of sin
  • The public identification with Christ
Why should believers be baptized?

Since Jesus Himself instructed believers to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience and submission to Christ. It was also seen as a public identification with Jesus after salvation.

Baptism is not merely a responsibility but a great privilege. We have the opportunity to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we trust in and love Jesus Christ. If we think of baptism as a mere burden, we have not properly understood the joy of following Christ in the call to be baptized. We should have a similar response as the Ethiopian eunuch who, when he believed the gospel, quickly proclaimed, “What prevents me from being baptized?” Like the Ethiopian man, we should eagerly anticipate the chance to be baptized with joy since we are a new creation in Christ.

While there are certain costs associated with baptism, the reward of obedience is always worth it. The desire to be baptized should be motivated by a desire to point to God’s goodness in our lives as an act of obedience. Any other motivation such as joining a particular church, pleasing a family member or friend, or falsely thinking the work of baptism will actually “save you” should not be the motivation behind getting baptized.

Matthew 28:18–20 – And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded
you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Acts 2:37–41 – When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the
other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgive- ness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the
Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save
yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and
about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 22:16 – And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on
his name.

Who should be baptized?

Stateline Church practices “believer’s baptism,” which means we only baptize those who believe
and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This means the believer has made a personal
decision to receive the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become what we call a
“disciple” or one who follows Christ.

Stateline Church believes the decision to be baptized is up to the individual and that he or she
must fully understand what it means to be a Christ follower.

  • Believers are those who have realized that their sins have separated them from God.
  • They have given up all efforts to reach God through their own 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 them and God.
  • A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for his or her salvation.
  • Reading through the New Testament, we find baptism explicitly related to repentance, receiving
    the Word, believing and receiving the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 2:41 – Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added
    to their number that day.

    Acts 8:12 – But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and
    the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

    Galatians 3:27 – For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    Romans 6:3–4 – Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were
    baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by 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.

Is baptism necessary for salvation?

Baptism is not a “saving” command, but a “sanctifying” command in which we are becoming
more like Christ by following his example. As we grow in maturity in following Christ, we will be
more and more conformed into the image of Christ as we follow his example.

Without diminishing the command and joy of being baptized for a believer, we must also warn
against thinking which suggests that salvation is dependent upon baptism. The gospel is one of
salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. We should reiterate this, that the gospel is one of
salvation by grace alone, through faith alone and not by works. This is great news for every one
of us who have put our faith in Jesus.

I was baptized as a baby. Should I get baptized again?

While we hold to believer’s baptism, we do so in a way that doesn’t judge other people,
churches, or denominations that believe otherwise. Simply put, this is our conviction according
to what we believe the Bible teaches on baptism.

Baptism is reserved only for a believer who is at an age where they make their own personal
decision to follow Christ and decide for oneself to be baptized. If you believe that your original
experience was prior to truly trusting in Christ as Lord and Savior, you should pursue obedience
in this area by being baptized.

If you were baptized as an infant according to another faith tradition, we understand that it may
have been a very meaningful moment for the parents and their intentions are good. In line with
that tradition, it was no doubt the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of
Christ. Your baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes. It in no
way repudiates the baptism you received as a child.

Is there an age requirement for children to be baptized?

Since the symbolism of Baptism requires a level of cognitive and developmental readiness, the
leadership of Stateline Church requires that children be at least 12 years old to be baptized.
Proverbs 20:25 issues a significant caution against the danger of making a vow before adequate
knowledge, forethought, and reflection have been given. In an effort to prevent young people
from making a premature commitment they may not fully understand, this minimum age has
been established.

Baptism should be a one-time special event in the life of a believer and we will do our best as
a church to insure that each child has personally chose to be baptized and is old enough to
understand what is happening. In the future, we may offer a class for younger children to fully
understand their decision.

Guidelines for children choosing to be baptized:

  • It is important that the child being baptized has put their personal trust in Christ and His
    atoning work on the cross.
  • It should be the personal decision of the child to be baptized when they are ready to
    make their personal faith public, without undue pressure from parents or family to be
    baptized, as that should never be the motivation to please people, but to please God.
  • A child needs to be able to clearly articulate what they believe and understand why they
    are choosing to be baptized without a parent needing to speak for them.
  • Stateline has set a minimum age of 12 years old. Typically a child is mature enough at
    the age of 12 to comprehend their faith and be autonomous enough to choose baptism
    as their next public step of faith. (If you have specific questions regarding this, please
    talk to a Pastor about your child)
Will you baptize my infant?

At Stateline Church, we don’t see anywhere in scripture where we are to baptize infants or
children who have not made a personal decision to follow Christ. In the New Testament, we find
parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them and told His disciples
to welcome them. However, He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize
them. The New Testament records the baptisms of adults who are believers but never of
children.

We do, however, dedicate children to the Lord, which is a biblically sound and a meaningful
moment in the lives of parents. Parents commit their ways to the Lord and the church family
agrees to be a support to them as they raise their child in the ways of the Lord. Stateline Church
offers different opportunities to sign up to have your child dedicated to the Lord. If you have any
questions about Child Dedication, please contact us!

When should a person be baptized?

Acts 22:16 – And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on
his name.

As soon as a person trusts Christ, he or she should be baptized at the next opportunity they
have. If you have come to a point in your life where you have decided to follow Christ in
everything you do, whether 15 minutes ago, a week ago, or 50 years ago, baptism is the next
step of obedience for you to take. Going public with your faith through baptism is a powerful,
biblical response to your faith in Jesus.

Some people fear they are not “good enough” to be baptized. There will never be a time where
a person will be “good enough” for baptism. God tells us, “we have all fallen short,” meaning
none of us are good enough to merit the right to be baptized. Our right to enter the water to be
baptized is based on Christ’s righteousness and what he has done for us. We simply follow in his
footsteps, because he made a way for us. Jesus Christ is who makes us righteous. Thus, we can
confidently enter the water with joy and thankfulness.

How should a person be baptized?

There are many denominations that practice various forms of baptism. Some sprinkle water on
the head, others will be immersed or dunked into water. At Stateline Church, we believe in full
immersion in water.

  • The Greek word baptizo literally means to plunge, submerge or immerse. Our English
    word baptism is a transliteration of the Greek baptizo. Baptizo was used in Greek
    literature to describe the act of immersing or dunking something in water or another
    liquid. It later became a technical term that referred specifically to the Christian practice
    of baptism.

In Romans 6:1-11, the Apostle Paul explains how the immersion mode of baptism identifies the
believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Going under water symbolizes
Christ’s death. Coming out of the water illustrates his resurrection.

Because of this, we hold to baptism by immersion but will sprinkle those with physical
disabilities or those who have a psychological reason for not being immersed.

Colossians 2:12 – “…having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Romans 6:3–4 – “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were
baptized into his Death? We were buried therefore with him by 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.”

Matthew 3:16 – And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold,
the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming
to rest on him…

John 3:23 – John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there ,and
people were coming and being baptized…

Acts 8:38–39 – And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water
,Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of
the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

Who can perform baptism?

The Bible gives no prescription for the requirements to perform baptism. Contrary to some
traditions, there seems to be no biblical reason to restrict the duty to pastors or those in
vocational ministry. Therefore, we allow any believer, male or female, who has faithfully obeyed
the command to be baptized to then baptize others.

How do I sign up?

We ask believers who wish to be baptized to fill out the registration form HERE or on the app.

There is also a paper form at the Connection Center.