Whether you’re brand new to church or you’ve been attending for years, there are probably some things you’ve seen on a Sunday that you have questions about. When it seems like everyone else knows the drill, asking questions to learn more can feel intimidating or embarrassing.
Baptism is one of those things that may have you scratching your head. After all, submerging people in a swimming pool isn’t something you see every day! There’s no shame in having questions, which is why we want to answer some that you may have about baptism:
- What does getting dunked in water really have to do with my faith?
- Why did Christians start doing baptism in the first place?
- Who should get baptized?
- Do I need to get baptized to be saved?
Let’s unpack these questions together:
Why did Christians start doing baptism in the first place?
While there are instances of baptism in the Old Testament, baptism, as we know it in our time, began when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the book of Matthew. Later in Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples to continue baptizing his followers. This is part of what’s known as “the Great Commission,” or the final instructions from Jesus to share the gospel with all the nations of the world. We see baptism continue as the early church forms in the book of Acts as a response to the Great Commission. That’s also why we baptize people today – so we can see more and more lives changed by Christ!
Who should get baptized?
Depending on how many kinds of churches you’ve been to, you’ve probably seen babies, children, teens, and adults get baptized. Some churches baptize infants while others only baptize adults, which can make the idea of baptism more confusing.
At LCBC, we believe that anyone who has decided to follow Jesus and trust him as their Savior can be baptized. You don’t have to be a certain age, be a Christian for a certain amount of time, or “have it all together.” If you’re ready to share your story and make a public declaration that you’re all-in for Jesus, you’re ready for baptism!
If you’re a parent and you’re wondering if your child is ready to be baptized, consider this: We want to ensure that everyone who gets baptized fully understands their decision. As a parent, you know your child best and may want to encourage your kid to wait until they’re mature enough to make the decision for themselves. As a rule of thumb, kids should be old enough to tell their life change story and the impact Jesus has had in their life. You will be part of the conversation every step of the way – we do not baptize children without parental consent.
Do I need to get baptized for my sins to be forgiven?
No – trusting Jesus is the only way your sins are forgiven. Baptism is a public, symbolic declaration of that decision. While water cleanses the outside, the blood of Jesus cleanses our hearts from sin. If you’ve already decided to trust Jesus, baptism is your way of sharing that with the world.
Remember, in order for your sins to be forgiven, the only thing you need to do is believe in Jesus and trust him as your Savior. John 3:16 said it best: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
What does getting dunked in water really have to do with my faith?
When somebody gets baptized, they’re making a public declaration that they are all-in as a follower of Christ and have placed their faith and trust in him. Going underwater symbolizes our old life being washed away and emerging as a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Before someone is baptized, they will share about the impact a relationship with Jesus has had on their life and why they’ve decided to be baptized.
When we get baptized and share our story, we’re also following Jesus’ command to “preach the good news to everyone” (Mark 16:15). Our personal experiences may resonate with others, which can in turn inspire them to pursue a relationship with Jesus.
We hope this article has been helpful as you seek out answers to your questions about baptism. If you’d like to get baptized or just want to learn more about it, we have information to help you:
Learn more about baptism on our website
Contact us with your questions about baptism
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LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!