WHO IS JESUS?
Jesus offers good news of salvation, healing and hope. His invitation is for all people, all nations, all languages, whoever calls on His name. His name itself, Jesus, means 'God saves.'
He came to bridge the divide between heaven and earth and to make a way for humanity to be restored to God. He gave his life in payment so that anyone can receive forgiveness and redemption.
His character and mission are to do good and to represent His father. He says:
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has chosen me to be His representative to the poor and to preach good news to them. He sent me to tell those who are held captive that they can now be set free and to tell the blind that they can now see. He sent me to liberate those held down by oppression. To proclaim that now is the time; it is the year of the Lord's favour." Luke 4:18-19
Lord God, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for my sins and rose to life again. I am sorry for my sins; and ask for your forgiveness. I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour.
I ask you to transform my life and give me your Holy Spirit to lead me all of my days.
Thank you for your unlimited goodness and grace over my life.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is an outward showing of what has already taken place in the heart of someone who has received Christ as Lord and Saviour. Through baptism we identify with the death and resurrection of Christ. Symbolically we die to our old ways, and we rise out of the water in the newness of life.
It is making a public stand and identification with Jesus Christ. A bit like marriage vows. You fall in love etc (inside). Then you make a public commitment (outside) in front of friends, family, the church and to God.
IS BAPTISM IMPORTANT?
It was good enough for Jesus to get baptised and he also commanded it. Jesus didn't say "this might be good for you as an optional extra".
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
WHAT HAPPENS SPIRITUALLY?
Remember it's a spiritual thing, don't fully understand it, but God stuff / spiritual stuff takes place. To be baptised a person must have repented and accepted Christ as their personal Saviour and be living for Him.
You need to have a bit of an understanding of what you are doing, this however should not stop you as it seems in the Bible that as soon as a person became a Christian they were baptised. Identify with the death and resurrection of Christ
Romans 6:1-14 (NIV)
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
BAPTISM IS FOR THE CHRISTIAN WHAT CIRCUMCISION WAS TO THE JEW
Circumcision was a symbol to the Jew's of God's covenant with them through Abraham (Genesis 17:9-14), so water baptism is a symbol of God's covenant with us through faith in Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:9-12 (NIV)
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him."" 4 John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 " baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." The Baptism of Jesus 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now, it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness." Then John consented. 16 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 lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased."
Note: When John the Baptist baptised people it was different than the Christian baptism (remember Jesus hadn't died on the cross yet for our sins). John's baptism was for repentance.
Baptism is a symbol to the world of our death to sin and resurrection to God. Being baptised will not save you - it is a symbol of repentance and faith.
Note: Jesus didn't begin his ministry until after he had been baptised, He was also filled with the Holy Spirit when He was baptised.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTISED?
All believers, only believers.
IS BAPTISM NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?
No, we are saved by grace, not works.
For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
i.e. The thief on the cross next to Jesus in Luke 23:39-43 Jesus said: "today you will be with me in paradise" - He didn't have time to be baptised.
WHAT ABOUT INFANT BAPTISM?
A person needs to make their own decision about salvation and water baptism, which is obviously something you can't do when you are a baby. Therefore we don't believe in infant baptism. However the Bible does talk about infant and child dedication to God.
1 Samuel 1:28, Luke 2:22
You can make a declaration in front of the Church and your family and friends to raise your child/family in the ways of the Lord.
WHAT ABOUT SPRINKLING OR FULL DUNKING?
"Baptizo" Greek Root word to dip, immerse, plunge and pull out
SOME EXAMPLES OF BAPTISM:
ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST AFTER PETER PREACHES
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
SAUL WHO BECAME PAUL AFTER HIS DAMASCUS ROAD EXPERIENCE
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
GENTILES GET BAPTISED AFTER RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
PAUL AND SILAS AND THE JAILER
They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-he and his whole family.
PAUL IN EPHESUS
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
THE PRACTICAL STUFF
Come to your baptism with expectation and faith, remember things are received from God by asking. What do you want to happen?
LOOK OUT FOR A HARD TIME
Often people find they have a hard time just before or after they are baptised. Remember the devil doesn't like you making steps forward in your faith and may give you a hard time, Jesus went into the wilderness and was tempted straight after being baptised.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
THINGS TO BRING
Family and friends - invite anyone you want to show your dedication to Jesus. This is a wonderful time to share your faith with those you love, and in term give then the opportunity to turn from their sinful way of living, to faith in Jesus.
A towel and change of clothes, Church will provide you with a T-Shirt. Please wear dark coloured shorts and underwear. Please don't wear a white or light colours at all, when they get wet they are see through and not a good look.
Camera Friends, family
Feel free to prepare to share a few thoughts on why you want to be baptised.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
You’ll get into the water, Church leaders/pastors will ask you if you have made a decision to follow Jesus, and that being baptised is your choice.
Place your arms across your chest, you’d normally fall/be held as you go backwards into the water and then be pulled up by the team, remember to hold your breath.
After you’ve immersed the team will pray for you and prophesy and give you faith filled words of encouragement and scriptures from the Lord.
Step out, dry off, have hugs and go and get changed.
READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND GET BAPTISED?
Talk to your pastors or your dinner party hosts or email the church email@example.com