Baptism is the immersion of a believer into water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It illustrates the believer’s death to sin, the burial of his or her former life, and the resurrection into newness of life in Christ Jesus.
John 1:29-34; Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:3-4
After taking the step of salvation, the next step for a follower of Jesus is baptism. In the act of baptism, a follower of Jesus is immersed in water and then lifted up out of the water.
Baptism is not salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a symbol of salvation. Just as married couples wear rings to symbolize their union, baptism is the public expression of the change that Jesus has made in one’s heart.
Baptism follows the example set by Jesus…
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22).
Baptism is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Jesus…
“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” (Romans 6:4).
Baptism is a picture of how Jesus has washed one clean from all sin…
“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.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:4-5).
Baptism is an important step of obedience to demonstrate your decision to follow Jesus…
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands” (1 John 2:3)
Does BHB (Buckhead Baptist) practice immersion or sprinkling?
We baptize by immersion because: (1) Jesus was baptized that way (Matthew 3:16); (2) Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion (like Acts 8:38-39); (3) The word “baptize” means “to dip under water”; (4) Immersion best symbolizes a burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11).
What if I have already been baptized or sprinkled?
The Bible teaches that followers of Jesus should be baptized. There is not a clear mandate that someone has to be baptized in a particular local church. If you have been baptized elsewhere, that was your act of obedience. If you have been sprinkled, we don’t discount the experience as a spiritual marker.
Do you baptize children?
We typically do not baptize children under the age of seven. However, each child is unique and the decision to baptize is dependent on the child’s readiness to understand the salvation experience. We want to ensure that a person understands the meaning of baptism before choosing to experience it.
What about infant baptism?
Because we believe baptism should follow a personal decision to follow Christ, we do not baptize infants. We do have baby dedication several times a year. This is a special time for parents to make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God’s will and to raise that child according to God’s Word.
How do I know if I am ready to be baptized?
Baptism is for anyone who has chosen to become a follower of Jesus. Baptism will not give someone eternal life. That comes through faith in Jesus. Baptism is a way of publicly identifying with Jesus. If we waited until we were perfect before being baptized, we would never be baptized!