Below are more questions concerning baptism.
What is Water Baptism?
Water baptism was practiced by John the Baptist and continued by Jesus Christ. When a person was immersed in water, it showed that he or she had repented of his or her sins (their wrong and hurtful way of living) and were accepting a new life of following Christ. Going under the water is a picture of the old life being buried - the coming out of the water, a new life in Christ. Jesus commanded his disciples to continue baptizing the people after he returned to Heaven. He said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit..." Matthew 28:10
Who Should Be Baptized?
Everyone who has made a decision to believe in and follow Jesus Christ. Jesus connected believing in Him and water baptism when He said, "Whoever believes in me and is baptized will be saved." Mark 16:16 (NIV)
Do You Have to be Baptized to be Saved?
No. The Bible tells us "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9 (NIV)
If we believe that it is our act of being baptized that causes God to forgive us, then we have missed the point. Salvation is a gift from God. It comes to us because Jesus Christ took our place and was judged for our sins so that we wouldn't have to be. Baptism is simply the public acknowledgment that we have accepted His gift. The Bible shows us that after people believed, they were baptized:
"When they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12 (NIV)
“The Ethiopian asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the Ethiopian said, ‘Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?’ Then they went into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:34-38.
May I Choose Who Baptizes Me?
According to Matthew 28:19, Jesus gave all His disciples the command to baptize someone who has made a decision to follow Christ. We invite you to have the person who led you to Christ or someone who encouraged you along the way baptize you. Also, GVCC staff and pastors are all present, in the water, during River Baptism.
Should I be immersed or sprinkled with water?
The word baptism comes from a word that means to immerse or submerse in water. At GVCC, we practice baptism by immersion. We can baptize by sprinkling with water upon request.
When is a person old enough to be baptized?
A person is old enough to be baptized when he or she understands what it means to make a free decision to follow Jesus Christ. A parent should sit down with his or her child to discuss baptism. The child can be baptized if he or she loves Jesus and shows an independent desire to follow Him. We offer Baby Dedication for younger children and their parents. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and upcoming dates.