Why we believe in and practice Water Baptism
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying ‘I need to be baptized by You, and You are coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ ” Matthew 3:13-15
Jesus went to John to be water baptized as an example for us to follow. Jesus did not need to repent of anything, he was totally without sin. Before the start of Jesus’ earthly ministry, John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus’ coming. He was used of God to call the people of that day to repent and seek after God. He was preparing the way for Jesus to come. Jesus went under the waters of baptism as an example to us and to signal a change. Water baptism now is not a step towards repentance but an outward display of a change that has already happened in our hearts. It publicly states our repentance from sin and commitment to Christ.
Jesus instructed the apostles to include water baptism as part of the discipling process of new believers.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Water Baptism is an outward act that reflects an inward change. It is a step of obedience for those who have received Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. Those being baptized at Freedom Worship Center must have received Christ as their personal savior. They must desire to follow him and submit to His headship in their lives. They must be willing to forsake the old life before Christ and allow Him to transform them into His image. This is a process that lasts the rest of one’s life!
There are several Scriptural exhortations to follow the Lord’s command to be baptized. Whenever there is a new believer, there is a need for a water baptism; it should take place as soon as possible after salvation.
Acts 2:41 “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”
Baptism is symbolic of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we enter the water, it is as if we are being buried with him. When we come up out of the water it is symbolic of a resurrection for us. There are many testimonies of people receiving healing as they were baptized. Others will testify to it causing a deeper relationship with Jesus. This is described in the following Scripture.
Romans 6:4-5 “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection ”
The biblical example of baptism is by full immersion in water. As this verse above states, immersion represents our being buried with Him and identifying that it was by His death on the cross that we are saved. Coming up out of the water symbolizes our resurrection to new life in Christ.
Some churches baptize infants and small children. FWC does not – we dedicate infants to the Lord. To be baptized one must understand the gospel and one must make a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Infants are unable to do that. If you were baptized as an infant you need to be re-baptized. If you were baptized as a child because of a custom in your church and it was not a meaningful experience to you, you can be re-baptized. If you were baptized as an adult when you did not understand the meaning, it is okay to be re-baptized.
Procedure and Preparation
The candidate must have made a personal confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and understand the Scriptural significance of Baptism. Please contact the Pastor/Elder Team with any questions. Men may wear shorts and tee shirts or swim trunks. Women may wear shorts and a modest tee-shirt as well. Be sure to bring a towel or two with you to dry off and dry clothes to wear home.