We believe that Baptism is important! It is a significant step in the life of a person who lives in a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. As we become aware of who Jesus was as a person we find that in His story as an adult, baptism was one of the first things we read He did.
Let's follow His story in the Gospel according to Mark Chapter 1. ** Luke 3 and Matthew 3 also have the story of Jesus' Baptism
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a Baptism of repentance for the Forgiveness of sins...people went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the Jordan River. John's message was: " After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit."
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw Heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Baptism was a sign of repentance and forgiveness of sings and showed that the people took John's message seriously. As we know Jesus didn't have to baptised (he didn't sin) but he did it to identify with humanity and as such was saying "I am taking on these people's sinfulness and all that sin means." Jesus lived a life that showed God's kingdom ruled over all things, including sin, sickness, and Satan. Baptism was the sign that a person had repented and turned from that sin, experiencing the forgiveness of God.
As the early church spread the message of Jesus' life, death and resurrection (His kingdom rule) their message was:
"Repent and be baptised, 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." Acts 2:38-39
'Baptise' literally means to 'plunge, immerse, bury or cover'. In the New Testament people were baptised as believers by total immersion in water. Baptism sympbolises all that we have done in accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Our preference is baptism by immersion, however we will baptise by 'pouring' when necessary.
So Why Be Baptised?
1. When we become Christians we turn away from running our own lives and embrace a new life with Jesus as our master. Anything that is dead gets buried so, in the same way, in baptism we symbolically bury our old lives and come up out of the water prepared to live our new lives for Christ.
Read: Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16
2. When we become Christians we accept God's power through the Holy Spirit to become new people. We join the body of jesus Christ, which is His Church. This is also symbolised by our Baptism.
Read: Acts: 38-29; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27
3. When we become Christians we are actually beginning new lives. The Bible calls this 'being born again' or 'being converted'. This is a spiritual birth, which takes place as God comes to live in us in the person of His Holy Spirit. Our Baptism also symbolises this.
Read: John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17
How do you respond?
Talk to someone about being baptised. If you are living at home with your parents, we would strongly encourage you to speak to them and then contact David Kingston, to discuss this important step with you. You can do this either at Church on a Sunday (at the Information Desk) or phone us and leave a message (08) 9377 3413 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org