“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?
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 forgiveness 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
- 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: 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 has 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 parent’s 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 chosen 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 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 when 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.