What is Water Baptism
Once a person admits that he or she is a sinner and turns to Christ for salvation, the Bible says that a person should proclaim the life change that has occurred; the watching world needs to know. Baptism has always stood as a kind of public testimony for people who have become believers.
Believers are those who have realized that their sin has separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ's death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for his or her salvation.
If you have come to this point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized. Just as a bride and groom tell of their love for one another through the symbol of rings, you should also want to show the world, through Baptism, of your union with Christ. Let the miracle that has happened in you show through the sacrament He ordained for you.
Schedule for Water Baptism
Legacy holds a Water Baptism Instruction and Informational class that explains the process and answers any questions you may have. They are held 30 minutes before service on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday night of the month at the Central campus. At East campus they are held 30 minutes before the scheduled services listed below.
- Held after every service.
- Held after every service.
The Importance of Water Baptism
Christian water baptism is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ. If it is not important in the plan of God, why did Jesus command it in Matthew 28:19? And why did Peter follow up by saying, “Be baptized every one of you,” and by commanding the Gentiles to be baptized (Acts 2:38; 10:48)? We must remember two points about the importance of water baptism. First, whatever Christ definitely established and ordained cannot be unimportant, whether we understand its significance or not. Second, Christ and the apostles showed the importance of this ordinance by observing it. Jesus walked many miles to be baptized, though He was without sin, saying, “For thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness” (See Matthew 3:13-16.)
It is true that water itself does not contain any saving virtue, but God has chosen to include it in His plan of salvation. Peter explained, “Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 3:21). According to Luke 7:30, “the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized.”
The Mode of Water Baptism
According to the Scriptures, the proper mode of baptism is immersion. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16). “And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38). “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). A corpse is not buried by placing it on top of the ground and sprinkling a little soil on it, but by covering it completely.
Repentance identifies us with the death of Christ, and baptism identifies us with His burial. Coming forth from the watery grave of baptism and receiving new life in the Holy Spirit identifies us with His resurrection.
Jesus commanded His disciples to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).
Luke 24:45-47 records that just before His ascension, Jesus opened the disciples’ understanding. It was necessary that their understanding be opened, and many today need this same operation in order to understand the Scriptures. Then Jesus said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” The disciples had their understanding opened so that they could grasp the vast importance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Verse 47 describes the commission that Jesus then gave: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations [Jews and Gentiles], beginning at Jerusalem.”