WATER BAPTISM STUDY GUIDE

People from Evangel Church come from various denominational backgrounds with different points of view of baptism. This information should help you understand a biblical point of view whether you are new to the Christian faith or you are a Christian but have not been baptized after accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.

 

Who should be baptized?

All who have trusted Jesus Christ as their savior should be baptized. Baptism was given expressly and exclusively to those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is an expression of one’s faith in Christ, trusting in the person and work of Christ.

 

Essential Beliefs about the Person of Jesus:

1. Jesus is God.  John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

2. Jesus became a man.  John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Philippians 2:7 - but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

 

3. Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Acts 4:12 – “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

 

Essential Beliefs about the Work of Jesus:

1. Jesus lived a perfectly obedient life.  Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

 

2. Jesus died as a substitute for me.  1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.

 

3. Jesus rose from the grave.  Romans 10:9 - because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 1 Corinthians 15:17 - And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

 

What Baptism means and doesn’t mean:

Baptism is a symbol of the salvation that has already taken place in your life! Baptism does not save you, only faith in Jesus Christ alone saves.

 

Baptism is an outward sign that a person has entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It symbolizes what takes place inwardly at the time of salvation:

Acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Sharing in His death and resurrection.

Being symbolically washed clean.

 

Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is also an act of obedience. While it is not necessary for salvation, it demonstrates submission to God.

 

The “When” of Baptism:

One should be baptized as soon as possible after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Acts 8:35-38 - Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water: Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 2:41 – Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

 

The “Why” of Baptism:

Christ commanded it.  Matthew 28:19-20 – “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

It follows Christ’s example.  Mark 1:9-10 – “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”

 

It’s a public profession of your faith.  Acts 18:8 – “Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.”

 

The “How” of Baptism:

The Greek word for baptism, baptizo, literally means to immerse or dunk, and this is the word used to describe Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist. Because Jesus modeled this act for us, we baptize by immersion. The Bible gives us the method of baptism in the baptism of Jesus.

 

What about other methods of baptism?

Evangel Church accepts other methods of baptism, such as sprinkling, if the person accepted Christ before the baptism and knew they were making a public profession of his acceptance of Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

Matthew 3:16 – As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. Colossians 2:12 – For when you were baptized you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.

 

What about infant baptism?

A person has not been baptized, as explained in scripture, if he was christened as an infant or child (or at any age) before beginning a personal relationship with Christ. While we celebrate the love and blessing of parents, in the Bible we see baptism occurring only after a person has made a conscious choice to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

What about being baptized again?

Evangel Temple recommends that you be baptized if you have not been baptized by immersion AFTER accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You don’t need to be baptized again if you have been baptized after accepting Jesus Christ but have struggled and are now renewing your commitment. If you are seeking to rededicate your life to God the best action is to get connected to the church through the various ministries, services and connect groups.