Many people have questions concerning water baptism. Often confusion about the subject is due to traditions and practices in previous churches and the present failure to carefully study what the Bible says about water baptism. Here is some information that we hope you will find helpful in your quest to fully know God, His Word and His will for your life.
+ What is Christian Baptism?
Christian baptism is a public identification declaring “I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” It is a public testimony of what has taken place spiritually in our innermost being. The symbolic meaning is explained in Romans 6:1-4 and is best portrayed in baptism by immersion. When a person goes under the water, he or she identifies with the death of Jesus Christ. To come up out of the water is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ out of death and walking in newness of life.
+ Who should be baptized?
Those who respond to the Gospel should be baptized. Biblical examples include the people of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41), the people of Samaria (Acts 8:12-13), the people of Samaria (Acts 8:35-38), Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:17-18), the Philippian jailer and his family (Acts 16:30-33), etc. In each case, they first believed and then were baptized (Acts 10:44-48). It was always those who, of their own will, responded to the Gospel that were baptized. This is why we refer to it as “Believer’s Baptism.” It is for those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Given the absence of examples for infant baptism in the Scriptures, we instead practice infant dedication with those who are not yet old enough to receive Christ. We look to the example of Hannah dedicating the infant Samuel to the Lord (I Samuel 1:21-28) as our Biblical precedent for doing so. If you are interested in dedicating your child to the Lord, please contact the church office.
+ What is the meaning and purpose of baptism?
Through water baptism we proclaim our identification with Jesus Christ in his death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-7, Col. 2:12)
Baptism is not a part of our salvation, but a major step in discipleship. Salvation is experienced totally by grace through faith. It is a free gift of God to all who will believe in Christ and receive Him (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12, John 3:16)
In identifying with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, and in identifying with the local and universal Church, we proclaim the fact that we died unto sin, were buried with Christ (Romans 6:6-7) and are raised with Him and share His risen life. We also proclaim the fact that the Holy Spirit has baptized, or placed us into the body of Christ. In that body, the church and each believer has a specific function. “One body — many members.” (I Corinthians 12:12-14)
+ Why should I be baptized?
Our Lord was baptized. (Matthew 3:13-17)
It symbolized the great redemptive work He was to do at Calvary in dying, being buried, and raised from the dead. It identified Him with lost sinners in His death, even though He was sinless. He established an example for us to follow; in being identified with Him as His disciples.
Our Lord commanded it. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Shortly before Jesus left this earth, He commanded His disciples to go and make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them all that He had commanded them. These are the three principle mandates of His Great Commission.
The early church practiced it. (Acts 2:41)
Baptism was a vital practice of the Early Church, both in the New Testament and the church history that followed, and they have left an excellent example for us to follow today as well.
+ What is my next step?
New Life holds baptism services several times a year. If you desire to be baptized, watch for bulletin announcements and instructions for the next scheduled service or contact Danya in the church office via the form below.
Infant and Child Dedication
Note: child dedication is not baptism. Neither does dedication provide salvation for the child. New Life Community Church believes public water baptism is to be reserved as an outward sign for those who have inwardly chosen to be cleansed from sin by confession and faith in Christ.
Child dedication is simply a private and public act by which parents signify that they will raise their children in a righteous and godly environment, involving both the home and faithful commitment to the church.
Parents should set this example in the home by maintaining faithful prayer and church attendance. Home training and family devotional times can be a model for your children in Christian living and service.
+ What We believe about Dedication . . .
Public child dedication to God is scripture-based-- from Hannah’s dedication of Samuel, (I Samuel 1:19-28) and Mary and Joseph’s dedication of Jesus (Luke 2:21-22). It is a holy time of heart commitment by parents to offer their children as a living sacrifice to the Lord for his use and glory.
Public child dedication is actually a “parent dedication” in the sense of the desire and commitment of your heart. It is, first of all your statement of personal faith in Jesus Christ, and your desire that your home be a place where His Word is lived, honored and obeyed. In order for you to dedicate your child to God, you must have first offered yourself to Him. It is inconsistent for an unsaved parent to offer their child to the Lord if they have not first offered their own life to Christ.
If you have questions as to what this means or uncertainty as to your personal salvation, please contact one of our pastors. We want you to know Jesus personally, so you can truly be God’s instrument in your child’s life.
+ How to proceed . . .
At New Life Community Church we currently hold child dedication services on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and at other times upon request. You may request a specific service time, but we may ask you to be flexible, depending on what is scheduled for the services on a given date.
In most cases bulletin announcements will be made several weeks prior to each scheduled dedication service. Parents will be asked to schedule with the church office at least one week in advance (303-368-7567), and to provide information for a dedication certificate, as well as a digital picture of the child to be displayed on the screen during the dedication portion of the service (optional). Other family members may stand up with you during the dedication if you so choose.
It is our prayer that this time of dedication will be precious in the sight of God and a wonderful, meaningful experience for you and your family.