What Is Baptism?
The last thing Jesus said on Earth was this: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” So for Jesus, this idea of baptizing people that want to follow him was non-negotiable.
So what is baptism? The word means to be immersed or washed with water. But beginning with John the Baptist (get it?), deep meaning was attributed to the process of going under water and coming up again.
In the book of Romans, Paul says that when we are baptized, we are identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus. He writes, “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.” By being immersed, we are saying that our old self is dead and to be left behind. And as we emerge, we take on the resurrection of Jesus for ourselves. As Paul writes elsewhere, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me.” (Gal. 2:20)
So how about you? Have you made the decision to follow Jesus? If so, you should take the exciting next step of being baptized. If you are considering baptism, have questions, or would just like to talk to someone about it, please fill out the form below and we’ll reach out soon!
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Christians are people who believe that the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on the cross, provides the sole basis for the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, salvation occurs only when a person places his or her faith in the death and resurrection of Christ as the sufficient payment for his or her sin. Just like a bride and groom show others their love for one another by wearing wedding bands, your baptism is your opportunity to show others that you have accepted Christ and are now walking with Him. If you have any questions about how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please fill out the form below.
AT WHAT AGE CAN MY CHILD BE BAPTIZED?
This question can be a difficult one to navigate, as there is no explicit age requirement in Scripture for baptism. For this reason, we follow the same principle for children as we do for adult believers. If your child is developmentally able to understand who Jesus is and accepts Him as his or her Savior, and has an understanding of what baptism means and a desire to be baptized, we would love to offer her or him the same opportunity as we do adult believers.
While we do not practice baptizing infants, we do have a practice at the Branch where parents can make a public declaration of intent before God and their church community to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his or her own personal commitment to Jesus. We call this Child Dedication and it occurs a few times a year. If you are interested in participating in Child Dedication, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT DOES BAPTISM SYMBOLIZE?
Baptism is a way of showing others that a person has entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It symbolizes what took place in his/her heart at the time of salvation:
- Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Sharing in His death and resurrection illustrated by going under the water (dead to our old life), then rising again (new life).
- Being symbolically washed clean, our sins being forgiven by His death on the cross.
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God. We baptize by immersion at the Branch because this is the way that Jesus modeled for us in Scripture.
WHAT IS THE BAPTISM PROCESS?
The baptism process has been designed to be both simple and meaningful. From the registration form to the baptism meeting, each step has been carefully planned with you in mind:
Step 1: Complete the baptism application. Once we receive your application we’ll contact you to schedule a meeting time.
Step 2: Meet with one of our pastors, who will help you in preparing your story for filming.
Step 3: We will schedule your videotaping and baptism.
Step 4: Get baptized! Baptisms take place during one of the Sunday morning services and include a showing of your prerecorded video.