At FBC we baptize people because Jesus told us that after a person has become His child and chosen to follow Him, they're supposed to be baptized. The purpose is to show people both in the church and the community that they've become a follower or disciple of Jesus.
Thanks for your interest in baptism at Fellowship Baptist. One of Jesus' final instructions to His followers is found in Matthew 28:19
"Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
What is Baptism?
The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo. Greeks used this word to mean dip or submerge.
As a religious practice, baptism was common in many ancient religions as part of ceremonial washings. In Judaism, people who weren't Jewish and wanted to become Jews would baptize themselves as part of the process. During the life of Jesus, John the Baptist also baptized people, but the baptism he practiced was something new. John was baptizing people who were already Jewish, but who recognized that being Jewish wasn't enough and that they needed to change their lives and begin obeying God from their heart.
In its original context, baptism symbolized cleansing from an old, wrong way of acting or thinking and identifying with a new, God honoring lifestyle. The baptisms also took place in public places so everyone in the community could see the difference Jesus had made in a persons life.
In Romans 6:1-4, the apostle Paul explains the symbolism of Christian baptism - that just as Jesus died and was raised from the dead, we have died to our old way of life and have been raised to a new life as a result of trusting in Jesus.
That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus.
Why be Baptized?
We are baptized because Jesus commands it. People sometimes get confused and believe that baptism will cause God to forgive them - or will help them get to heaven. The Bible clearly teaches that there is no good work we can do that will help us get to heaven, but it is a gift of God by grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We are also shown by example that baptism is not required for getting into heaven. When Jesus was hanging on the cross, the thief hanging beside Him asked, "Remember me when you come into your Kingdom." There was no opportunity for the thief to be baptized or perform any good works, but Jesus told the thief that He would see him in heaven that very day. (Luke 23: 42, 43)
When should someone be Baptized?
A person should be baptized after they have trusted in Jesus for forgiveness of their sins. Jesus tells us to make disciples and baptize - and we believe He meant it to be done in that order. That's also the pattern we see in the Bible in places like Acts 8:38.
What if I was Baptized before?
If you were baptized as an infant or at any time before you trusted in Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, you really need to be baptized again.
This also comes up when someone is coming from another denomination other than baptist and seeks to join the church. In this situation we ask that you get baptized again as well. This is not to take away from your previous experience but rather to ensure the individual has a relationship with Jesus and understands the meaning of joining the church.
How does Fellowship Baptist do Baptism?
Our baptisms all take place during one of our morning worship services. We do this so the entire church family can share in the blessing and get excited with the person being baptized.
If you'd like to be baptized at Fellowship Baptist. . .
Contact us either by phone/e-mail or after a morning worship service.