So you’ve decided to get baptized! If so, you might have a lot of questions about your baptism, such as “What should I wear?” and “What do I need to bring?” and probably other questions too! Below are some of the most common questions we’ve had and some of our answers! Feel free to contact us if you have more questions or want to sit down and talk about it more!
What is baptism?
The first story we read in the gospels about Jesus as an adult is his baptism. The last thing Jesus said to His disciples was that they should go throughout the world making disciples and baptizing them (Matt. 28:19-20). Baptism is obviously a very important activity in the New Testament.
Baptism is also a subject that Christians don’t all agree about. Here at the Vineyard, we view it as a secondary issue, allowing some room for disagreements between sincere believers. We have, nonetheless, tried to be faithful to the Bible and faithful to what the church has done historically because though we believe it is a secondary issue, it’s still important! Here’s how we would answer some of the most frequently asked questions about baptism:
Why should I be baptized?
You don’t need to be baptized to be “saved.” The New Testament teaches that a person is “saved” by having faith and trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Bible teaches that baptism is a way that Christians are reminded that they have been united with Christ’s death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5). It is also a public profession of your faith because baptisms are often done before a group of people who witness your confession of faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is not the only way we profess to be a follower of Jesus, but it is an important one.
Baptism symbolizes your cleaning from sin. In the New Testament it indicates that a person has “repented” and turned away from sin. The apostles often referred to the fact that believers were washed from sin. Peter stated that the water in baptism symbolized not the cleansing of the body from dirt, but the cleaning of the conscience as an appeal to God (1 Pet. 3:21).
Since baptism symbolizes your union with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection, when you become a Christian you die to sin and your old way of life and begin a whole new life! Rom. 6:8 states, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” The very act of baptism (being immersed in the water and coming up out of the water) is a picture of what happens to you spiritually.
How should I be baptized?
The Vineyard believes that people should be baptized by immersion as opposed to sprinkling or pouring. The word “baptize” (the Greek word is baptizo) literally means “to immerse.” This was how people in the Bible were baptized and immersion best symbolizes what happens spiritually when you become a Christian.
When should I be baptized?
You should be baptized as soon as you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and have been “born again”! Remember, you are not baptized in order to “saved.” You are baptized because you are a follower of Jesus. Being baptized is a way to express our faith in Jesus! The Vineyard holds baptisms periodically throughout the year. If you are interested in being baptized, let us know!
What if I was baptized as an infant?
Among orthodox Christians there are different perspectives on infant baptism. Some denominations and traditions (such as Episcopal, Presbyterian, & Roman Catholic) baptize infants while others (Baptists & Pentecostals) do not. Perhaps you were baptized as an infant. How should you view your baptism? You certainly want to show respect to your parents and their viewpoints, as well as be grateful to God for any spiritual influence they had in your life. However, our understanding of what the Bible teaches is that baptism is an action that follows conversion. So, if you have not been baptized since you have made a decision for Christ, we would recommend that you consider getting baptized, but would love to sit down with you to talk about it! Following Jesus isn’t a “one-size fits all” type of thing, so let’s talk!
Should I be re-baptized if I was baptized at another church?
As long as you were born again when you were baptized, and as long as the other church was an orthodox Christian church, then you should not be re-baptized. However, if your baptism was merely a church ritual done prior to your conversion or if the church was outside the mainstream of Christianity, then we’d love to talk with you about that!
Can my children be baptized?
Absolutely, as long as they understand what they are doing. We recommend that you wait until your children can make an intelligent profession of faith on their own, though they don’t have to have a PhD in theology! We certainly believe that a young child can be saved, but the older a child is, the more they will understand and the more meaningful baptism will be for them. We do not want to see children be baptized due to being pressured to do it or under false impressions. Remember, they do not need to be baptized in order to be “saved.”
We do not baptize infants as do some denominations and traditions. Instead, we dedicate infants to the Lord and call parents to commit themselves to raise their children for Christ. We do this based on the model seen in Scripture of infants being dedicated to the Lord: Samuel in the Old Testament (1 Sam. 1:21-29) and Jesus in the New Testament (Luke 2:21-24).
What should I do if I want to be baptized?
Let us know! We’d seriously love to sit down with you and talk about your relationship with Jesus and talk about the next time we’re having baptisms
What should I wear?
Shorts and a t-shirt are the most common clothes people wear when they get baptized. Just remember that water makes white t-shirts “see through,” so wear a dark shirt! Whatever you’re comfortable wearing is fine as long as it isn’t gonna make one of our pastors blush or feel awkward 😉 Don’t forget to bring a towel too!
Can my family and friends attend?
Absolutely! We really encourage you to invite your family and friends to celebrate with us! They are free to come and take as many pictures or video footage as they can! 🙂 This is a huge event and we’re so excited!
What other questions do you have?