This week at VESSELS, we learned about baptism. We had about 20 girls express interest in wanting to be baptized together on Sunday, April 12. For those of you who missed it, I wanted to spend a little time here on the blog talking about baptism.
What is baptism?
Baptism is a outer display and announcement to tell the world about the inner change that had happened in your heart when you accepted Jesus as your Savior.
Should I be baptized?
First answer these two questions.
1. Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
2. Have you asked Jesus for forgiveness of your sins?
If the answer is YES to both, you should be baptized. In our world, we are often told that it is acceptable to believe what we want so long as we keep our faith to ourselves. Satan LOVES under-cover Christians (who are timid with their faith and quietly keep it to themselves). Baptism is an opportunity for the believer to publicly proclaim Christ.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT BAPTISM
Jesus led the example of baptism. Matthew 3:15-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Jesus told us to baptize his disciples/followers. 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…”
Baptism comes right after “conversion” (asking Jesus in your heart). Acts 2:41
Those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Baptism symbolizes Jesus’ death and resurrection. Romans 6:2-4
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.
- It symbolizes his death. As Jesus went down into death, so we go down into the waters of baptism.
- It symbolizes his burial. As Jesus was buried for three days, so we are buried for a moment in the watery grave.
- It symbolizes his resurrection. As Jesus arose, so we arise to live in newness of life.
Baptism is not the same as salvation (asking Jesus in your heart).
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be baptized to go to Heaven. The act of baptism is not for the forgiveness of sin. The act of baptism does not mean you are saved. Salvation is ONLY through accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior–asking Him for forgiveness of your sins (though his death and resurrection), recognizing Him as at the Son of God, and promising to live your life for Him.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Remember, baptism is announcement that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you could get into Heaven by being baptized, we would be saving ourselves through our “works and acts.” It wouldn’t be through Jesus’ grace.
If you are interested in being baptized but missed last night, please let Teacher Janna know, and plan to attend the informational parent meeting next Wednesday, April 8 at 5:45 p.m. (right before VESSELS begins). You do not need to attend Faith Bible Chapel to be baptized.
Sunday, April 12 is what I’m calling VESSELS Sunday. I’m encouraging all VESSELS girls to attend so we can sit together during the 10:45 a.m. service and support the girls who are being baptized. We will go up on the stage to watch and cheer and clap as they come up out of the water. Then, after the church service, all girls and their families are invited to a party in the West Gym where we will celebrate.