The Foundry

We use the phrase “Raised to Life” to affirm what is clear in Romans 6:4, that “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.”

Those who have been baptized say it is one of the most meaningful moments in their life. For our church, it’s a special time because we get to see real people growing closer to each other and to a loving Father. But there are many questions surrounding baptism.

It’s important to remember that baptism is about following Christ. Without clear understanding of this powerful act of obedience, the meaning is lost. If you are considering baptism, read the scriptures included here, talk with others in the church about their baptism, and let us help you understand the importance of following Christ through baptism. 

Simply put, we emphasize baptism today because the Bible emphasizes it (Matthew 28:18-20). The people of Israel began practicing baptism during the period between the end of the Old Testament and the birth of Christ. When non-Jewish people came to believe in God, they were baptized. This baptism was a symbolic washing, through which they agreed about their need for God's cleansing & forgiveness of their sins. By the time of Jesus, many Jewish people believed they were accepted by God simply because they were descendants of Abraham. This is what made John the Baptist's message so revolutionary. He instructed his people that they needed God's forgiveness just as much as non-Jewish people needed it, so he challenged them to admit this need by being baptized (Matthew 3:1-12).

Throughout the book of Acts, the early Christians followed Jesus' instructions for those who follow him to be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36-38; 9:18; 10:44-48; 16:14, 15, 30-34; 18:8; 19:4,5). The New Testament order was always "believe and be baptized," there is not one single act of baptism before conversion in scripture. Christian baptism then, is not what causes you to become a Christian—it is an action taken after becoming a Christian. It is not something you do to earn God's acceptance—it is something you do because you have received the free gift of God's acceptance through faith in Christ. We become Christians when we admit our sin and trust Christ as our Forgiver.

Baptism is a symbolic act—the water cannot wash away sin. Baptism is merely an "object lesson" of how our sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19). Therefore, we baptize people for the reasons outlined in the Bible (as a symbol of their personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ), and in the manner outlined in the Bible (immersion). 

If you have personally received Christ, you are permanently forgiven and accepted by God... not dependent on baptism. (Romans 8:1; Colossians 2:13,14). However, there are some excellent reasons why you should be baptized. First of all, Jesus commands us to actively baptize believers (Matthew 28:19). Since he is the Lord, and since his will is always good, this should be reason enough. It is a very important act of obedience to the Forgiver and Leader of your life.

Being baptized is also an opportunity for you to influence others in a positive way spiritually. It provides you a way to publicly show your faith before others. Non-believing friends and family members usually attend our baptisms, and they are often deeply impacted by the stories of those being baptized. Christian friends are also built up by this and motivated to continue sharing the message of Christ. Being baptized is also an opportunity for you to take a step of faith.

Getting baptized is, at times, intimidating because it involves taking a stand for your faith in front of the community of believers. It could be stepping outside of your "comfort zone" to do something that shares Christ and serves others. Christ will challenge you to take such steps throughout your life journey, so experiencing baptism can be a celebrated success of displaying your faith!   

The two baptisms that are actually described in the Bible were both by immersion (Jesus—Matthew 3:13-17 and the Ethiopian—Acts 8:36-39). These Biblical descriptions imply immersion because when people are baptized in water, they are pictured as going down into and coming up out of the water. In addition, the word baptism comes from the Greek word "baptizo," which means "to immerse, dip or plunge." Both archeology and church history testify that immersion was the mode of baptism used in the early church.

The symbolism is best pictured by immersion. It pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:3,4). It also pictures our identification with Jesus' death, burial and resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:17). The "old" you has passed away, the "new" you has been raised. If there are special circumstances that prevent immersion, please feel free to discuss this privately with one of our pastors. Ultimately, the amount of water used in a public baptism is not the issue, an obedient heart is.

Baptism is an expression of trust, an act of obedience and a symbol of commitment by someone who wants to follow Christ with their life. For baptism to be meaningful, it should be done by those who are mature enough to make this decision for themselves. Simply put, it should be done by those who understand what they are doing. That's why there are no stories in scripture of infants being baptized. Many young children express a desire to be baptized, but we encourage parents to wait until they are certain that it is a decision their child is making on his/her own behalf and can truly appreciate its significance.

It’s not uncommon for children to want to be baptized because they want to please their parents or because they saw someone else do it. The best way is to read some of these passages with your child and talk to them about it. Have them put into their own words why they want to be baptized. Can they explain what baptism is? Does your child not only love God, but also understand their sin and their need for God? Ask your child what it means to them to follow Christ. There is no specific age for this, but our pastors can help you determine if your child is ready to take this step.

Often adults assume baptism is only for kids, or they are embarrassed to take this step of obedience. Remember, the point of baptism is to follow the instructions and example of Christ, who was baptized even as the Son of God. Every baptism is a powerful story of someone wanting to follow the example of their Savior. 

• We believe that it is the primary responsibility of the parent to disciple their child (Deut. 6). You can do it, we can help!

• Usually baptism immediately follows a profession of faith both in adults and children. In both cases the new believer is far from being a mature believer and will surely not grasp those concepts that accompany maturity (see Hebrews 6:1-3).

• The Lord Jesus Himself encouraged children to come to Him and we should do the same in a wise and Biblical manner. Baptism is the initial act of obedience that publicly announces an inward change with the understanding that the impact of this decision will be understood more fully as one matures (Romans 6:1ff).

• Only God knows the heart and it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that a heart can be changed.’

•The real question: “How do I know if my child’s faith is genuine?” We want to see our children saved, but we want to do our due diligence at insuring their salvation is real.

• Be aware that children will often do whatever it takes to please their parents, even profess Jesus and be baptized.

• Before the age of eight, most children think literally and struggle with symbolic or conceptual concepts and may struggle to understand the depth of sin and the need for salvation.

• Children will often react and do what their peers do. Often delaying baptism can prove beneficial in making sure that their desire to be baptized is out of a changed heart and not the result of peer pressure.

• Be aware that children are all uniquely made and some mature quicker than others. Be sure to respond to each individual child according to their level of maturity and understanding.

• The concept of “Trust” is one that both children and adults alike can understand. When communicating with your child, use the idea of “trust” when describing faith. Avoid using big words.

Communicate in a creative way the reality of sin and the impact it has of separating us from God forever.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23

Acknowledge the truth that we cannot pay for our sin… but Jesus did.
“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 6:23

Celebrate that Jesus’ died to pay for our sins which pleased God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” –Ephesians 2:8

Share that those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and in His death as payment for sin is forgiven and can be with God forever.
“For God so loved (insert name of child), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

Share that believing in Jesus makes Jesus now Lord and Savior of their lives and that they are to follow Him and not the ways of this world.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” –Romans 12:1

Finally, Share your story of trusting in Jesus & how God has guarded and guided you since that first decision. Your testimony will help illustrate the divine mystery of Saving Grace. 

Next Steps

Talk to a Pastor.

If you or your child would like to talk to a pastor as you navigate this decision, we would love to connect with you.

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Attend a baptism class.

We regularly offer baptism classes after our Sunday Services. This is a great place to learn more and ask questions about baptism.

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Get baptized

If you or your child are ready to “take the plunge”, then fill out the baptism request form to schedule a baptism at NHB>

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