Baptism is always a highly anticipated event for us. The stories that we get to hear are simply incredible. You may have been feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit and you may have been praying about it but you've got some questions. Read below what Citylight believes baptism is, what it isn't, and next steps to take on your way to getting baptized.
What Baptism Is
1. It's a command
Jesus commanded in Matthew 28, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". Baptism is not optional to Jesus, it’s a command for every Christian.
2. It's a sign
Baptism preaches the truth about Jesus' work in your life. It's a public profession of your faith that He has changed you and you have dedicated your life to Him. It's a sign that puts the gospel on display for all to see.
3. It's a seal
What the sign is outwardly, the seal is inwardly. The bible closely link baptism with things like rebirth, renewal, forgiveness, salvation, and union with Christ. This does not happen practically with the physical act of baptism, it happens on a spiritual level and is a seal of the heart.
4. It's a celebration
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free” -1 Corinthians 12:13
This means that not only have you been united with Christ but you’ve been united with the church. It means that the church family has a new member!
What Baptism Is Not
1. It's not necessary for salvation
We believe that baptism is an outward symbol of an inward reality. In other words, baptism shows you and others what God has already done on the inside. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2. It's not for perfect people
There is not a standard you have to meet before you get baptized. The only thing is that you have completely trusted your life to Jesus Christ, that He is your lord and savior and that you are no longer living for yourself but living for Him.
3. It doesn't add anything to your salvation
Baptism is simply a public profession. It's an outward sign of an inward reality. It doesn't make you closer to God nor make you a better part of the church.
When should you get baptized?
Here at Citylight we practice believer's baptism as opposed to infant baptism. The pattern of scripture is a pattern of believers who make a conscious choice to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ. If you are ready to proclaim the name of Jesus, then we encourage you to join us to celebrate at one of the three Baptism Sundays Citylight hosts throughout the year. Check the Events page for the next baptism celebration.
How does Citylight Baptize?
The Greek word for Baptism is “Baptizo” which means immerse or submerge. This definition fits with Jesus’ baptism as well as all of the baptisms we see John the Baptist performing. Therefore, our mode of baptism that we find to be the most biblical is submerging you fully into water.
What is your next step?
Come to one of our baptism classes. One of the pastors will go into more depth about baptism and all the logistics involved. You will also get paired up with a baptism mentor to walk you through the process, celebrate with you, and be with you during this time.