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    What is baptism?


    Why should I get baptized?

    Who should be baptized?

    When should I get baptized?

    What about my child?

    How should I get baptized?

    What happens when I’m baptized?

    What’s the process for getting baptized at Harvest?



    What is baptism?

    Baptism is a symbol, or picture, acted out in an open and public manner. It is a picture of what has spiritually taken place on the inside when you received Jesus Christ as Savior.

    Baptism symbolizes:

         • Our salvation

         • Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection

         • Our inner cleansing from sin 

         • Our release from judgment and death 

         • Our new life in Christ

         • Our entrance into the body of Christ, the Church

     
    Why should I get baptized?

    Baptism is not required for salvation—we are saved by grace through faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But it is a part of growing in your walk with Christ, just like learning the Scriptures (Matthew 28:19-20).



    Who should be baptized?

    Baptism is for believers only and it is for all believers.  Every person who has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior is commanded to show allegiance to Christ through baptism.  This was so obvious to the early church that we repeatedly read in the Bible that people “believed and were baptized”. It is up to believers to declare their desire to be baptized.  No one else should make that decision for them.



    When should I get baptized?

    It is clear that only believers should be baptized. But when should this event occur?  Many people feel that baptism should follow a time of spiritual growth in the new believer’s life. But there is nothing in the Bible to indicate this to be desirable. In fact, the pattern in the early church was that people were baptized very soon after they came to Jesus. It is safe to say then, that as soon as a believer recognizes baptism as a command to be obeyed and understands the basics of what they are doing, they are ready for baptism.

    It may be that you have already undergone a ceremony called “baptism” before you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but now realize that this event did not satisfy the teachings of God’s Word. If that’s the case, you should be baptized as a believer according to the standards of Scripture, since the first “baptism” will no longer allow for a clear conscience before God.


    What about my child?

    For children, the timing varies from child to child based on their understanding, ability to give a credible testimony, and maturity. We think it’s best that they wait at least until 4th or 5th grade. To rush, it could give a child a false sense of security and risk diminishing its impact in their life. There’s much lifelong joy and strengthening of faith with a vivid memory of baptism.



    How should I get baptized?

    According to the Bible, during New Testament times people were always immersed in water during baptism. Since immersion was practiced then, that is what we practice and require today. 

    There are at least five reasons for that: 

    1.  In the Bible, the word that is translated “baptize” originally meant “dip” or “immerse” in the Greek language (the language in which the New Testament was written).  Actually, “baptize” is not a translation of the Greek word, but rather, it is the English way of saying “baptizo” (the Greek word for immerse).

    2.  There are other words for “sprinkle” and “pour” in the Greek language, but none of them are used to refer to baptism. Only “baptizo” (meaning immerse) is used to refer to baptism.

    3.  Neither the biblical evidence nor sources outside the Bible from New Testament times, indicate “baptizo”means anything other than “immerse”.

    4.  In three different passages, baptism is associated with plenty of water, implying immersion as the method.

    5.  Scripture implies that baptism is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5); and immersion best expresses it:

    • Going down into the water symbolizes death

    • Going under the water symbolizes burial

    • Coming up out of the water symbolizes life


    What happens when I’m baptized?

    First, you give a brief testimony of your life before Christ, how you came to Christ, how He’s changed you. You don’t have to be a polished speaker, just overflowing with the love of God and a desire to glorify Him.

    Second, you’re immersed—you’re laid back under the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Third, you rejoice!



    What’s the process for getting baptized at Harvest?

    Assuming you’ve embraced Jesus as your Savior and Lord: 

    • Set your fears aside (ask God to help you)
    • Complete a Baptism Packet (available online, at the Welcome Center or at the church office)
    • Talk to one of our staff about your testimony and any questions you may have (usually on the phone)
    • Pray that God will be glorified in your baptism
    • Then publicly proclaim your allegiance to Christ on the day of your baptism! 

     

    If you are interested in taking the next step, click here for the Baptism Packet. 

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