Baptism is one of the ordinances’ given by Jesus Christ as a visible symbol of his invisible grace. With this ordinance believers are given the opportunity to remember or express God’s goodness and grace by taking part in a symbolic representation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Baptism symbolically represents the following actions:
- Christ’s death and resurrection.
- A believers union with Christ in His death and resurrection.
- The new life that a believer has in Christ.
- Cleansing and washing away of sins by the Holy Spirit.
- BAPTISM SAVES - A Christian is saved solely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The grace is given mysteriously when a Christian has confessed faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is an outward testimony of a person’s belief in Christ alone for salvation. The gospel is one of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- BAPTISM IS NOT NECESSARY - Jesus gave the command that all believers should be baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. We believe that obedience to the Lord’s commands are necessary. So, while baptism does not save, it is required as a faithful obedience to the scriptures.
Reasons why a person should be baptized:
- To obey the commandments of Christ.
- To publicly show that a person is now a disciple of Christ.
- To follow in the example of Christ.
- Baptism is a symbol of our unity with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. We get to publicly proclaim/celebrate our faith in all that he accomplished in these acts through baptism.
- Matthew 28:18-20 - 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.”
- Acts 2:37-41 - 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.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
- Matthew 3:13-17 - Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him,”Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
- Acts 8:35-39 - Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
- Acts 16:30-33 - Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
- Other Passages - Mark 1:4-5, Mark 16:16, Luke 3:16, and Acts 8:12
- Romans 6:3-4 - We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- Galatians 3:23-29 - Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
- Colossians 2:8-15 - See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.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.15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
- 1 Corinthians 12: 12-13 - 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.
- Other Passages - 1 Peter 3:18-22, Ephesians 2, and Galatians 2:15-21
A person who was been saved by the person and work of Jesus Christ should be baptized upon salvation in obedience to the scriptures. At Blueprint we practice what is known as believer’s baptism, which means we only baptized those who believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- Fear. The most common reason most people delay baptisms is due to fear of a public confession. Such anxiety or fear should never hinder a believer’s obedience to the Lord.
- Not being good enough. If a person has been saved by Jesus Christ, they have been sanctified by his grace and deemed perfect in the sight of God. Therefore if we have been united with Christ, and our right to enter baptism is founded upon His perfect righteousness, than a person should be baptized with confidence in obedience to the example and command of Christ.
- Throughout the Bible when instances of baptism are recorded, they usually take place immediately after one’s profession of faith. Therefore, it’s our belief that baptism shouldn’t be put off or postponed, but should happen promptly. As a church we have baptisms every month in an attempt to minimize the time one needs to wait as well as to have a time where we can corporately celebrate.
- Acts 3:35-38 - Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
If you genuinely trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior at the time of your baptism, understand that you’re baptism can never be “invalid” or “wear off”. But if you have concern that your faith was not genuine at the time of your first baptism, you may be baptized again. Remember, however, that baptism neither saves you nor ensures your salvation. Similar to the instance above, if you were baptized as a child, and, you feel your faith was not genuine at that time, you may be baptized again.
If a person has been baptized as an infant it was not in response to being born again by the Holy Spirit, the baptism was invalid and the person needs to be baptized again.
While some denominations and other traditions teach baptism by pouring or sprinkling, Blueprint Church practices baptism by immersion because this method is most prominent in scripture. The following verses support a baptism by immersion:
- Matthew 3:16 - And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him.
- John 3:23 - John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized.
- Acts 8:38 - And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
The bible does not teach of a specific location, but we prefer to practice baptisms in the context of the local church in order to allow the congregation to celebrate together in the person’s act of obedience to the Lord.
Once again the bible does not give specific commands on who can perform a baptism. With that being said, it’s our desire to have those faithful saints that were used by God to bring individuals to faith to “do the honor.”