BAPTISM: WHY BE BAPTIZED?
At Hulen Street Church, we believe baptism is commanded by Jesus for everyone who has chosen to follow him as Lord.
Why should I consider getting baptiZed?
Jesus himself was baptized. He was blameless, yet he humbled himself in obedience to what the Father wanted him to do. Jesus is our example in everything.
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” - Mark 1:9
An Act of Obedience:
Baptism is how we obey the command of Jesus; it’s part of making disciples and so part of becoming a disciple:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
What is the meaning and significance of baptism?
Baptism Identifies Us as Moving from Death to Life:
Baptism is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Entering the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death and burial. Exiting from the water identifies us with His resurrection from the dead:
11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. - Colossians 2:11-14
A New Family:
Baptism also connects us to the ‘body of Christ’, his people in the earth. In baptism there is a real sense of being joined with other believers, not just participating in an individual act of our own spiritual journey.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.“ - 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
A Powerful Symbol:
Baptism is a symbol of your allegiance to Jesus. Much like a wedding ring, it is an outward indication of the commitment you have made in your heart.
Let’s explore the wedding ring analogy with three scenarios:
Scenario #1. If someone is not married, but they put on a wedding ring, it would not make them married at all. Similarly, being baptized in a church does not make someone a Christian.
Scenario #2. If someone got married - they’d made their commitment and walked daily in that commitment - but didn’t put on a wedding ring, they would still be married because of their commitment. In the same way, trusting that Jesus has paid for your sins is what makes someone a Christian, not baptism.
Scenario #3. If someone got married and refused to wear the wedding ring, it’s usually a sign of a deeper issue. If you truly love Jesus and want to follow him, being baptized is the first commands Jesus gives you. However, if you refuse baptism, then you probably don’t understand what it is to follow Jesus with your whole life.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you already are one! Baptism does not ‘save’ you; only your faith in Christ does that.
How are we to be baptized?
The word baptize means “to immerse under water.” This is Jesus’ example to us, and what the apostles practiced in their churches.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16.
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ. When Paul writes to the believers in Rome, he assumes that all of them have been baptized (Romans 6). The one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ!
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. - Acts 8:12.
We believe in baptizing children when they are old enough to understand what it means and make a personal declaration of belief.