37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is a public declaration of the inner work of what God is doing in the person’s heart in moving the individual from death to life. Baptism is a public first step of obedience.
Baptism itself does not bring about salvation. We know that salvation has been accomplished by Jesus dying for our sin on the cross in our place. Baptism is the choice and the public declaration of faith of the individual choosing life in Jesus to carry His Name to the world. It is also the public rejection of Satan and his works in the world in that public decision to follow Jesus. Baptism symbolizes that our old self has been put to death, that the old self has been buried, and that we have been raised to new life in Christ!
The reason we choose to do this in such a public manner is significant. While it should never be made into a show it is significant because we need one another. Through this public statement, we state that we need the accountability of the Family of God. The individual is asking for the Church to adopt them into that accountability and disciple them into what it means to follow Jesus.
When the Baptism is done, it is typically done in a worship service and the questions are simple:
Do you reject Satan? Do you renounce all of his work and all of his ways? Are you ready to stop living for yourself and start living for Christ from this day on?
Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son? Do you believe He died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave is coming again soon as He promised?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? Do you want to receive the Holy Spirit today?
(1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 10:48; Acts 22:16; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Luke 3:16; Mark 16:16; Luke 3:21-22; Mark 1:4-5; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-38; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 16:31-33; Acts 2:38-41; John 1:29-33; Matthew 3:11-17; Romans 6:1-18)
At First Baptist Church, we believe that a child must be able to answer for themselves the questions that we ask anyone being Baptized. As such, we celebrate with the family the Dedication of any child under the age of accountability.