Baptism

As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.  At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. ~ Matthew 3:16

Who should be baptized? Every person who has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior should be baptized.

  • Romans 3:23:  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (realize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior).
  • Romans 10:9-10:  If you Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
  • Acts 8:12:  But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news, they were baptized, both men and women.

Why be baptized? Christ commands believers to be baptized.

  • Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…”.
  • Baptism is a step of obedience to Christ and His Word.
  • Obedience to Christ is evidence of personally knowing and loving him.

What does baptism mean? Baptism does not save you but is a public proclamation of your decision to follow Jesus Christ.

  • Ephesians 2:8-9“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast”. 
  • Matthew 28:19: “Make disciples…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
  • Colossians 2:12: “…having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead”.
  • Baptism is a symbol of our union by faith in Christ’s burial and resurrection for a new life as a Christian.

How should I be baptized? Baptism in the New Testament was immersion in water.

  • Matthew 3:16: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water”.
  • Acts 8:37-39: “The eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water…’, then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and Philip baptized him…they came up out of the water…”.
  • The word “baptism” means “to dip, to immerse”. Our church practices only baptism by immersion. If you were baptized before you became a Christian or by any other method than immersion, we request that pray and consider that you be baptized by immersion before membership here at River Valley Church.

Who may do the baptizing? Believers who wish to “disciple” (help a Christian follow Christ’s teaching) a believer may participate in baptizing that believer.

  • Matthew 28:19: The Great Commission commands all believers to “make disciples”, and does not prohibit them from baptizing the new believers they lead to Christ.
  • When should I be baptized? As soon as a person declares his belief in Christ, he may be baptized. Throughout the book of Acts, Christians were baptized soon after their belief.
  • Acts 2:41: “those who accepted his message were baptized…that day”.
  • Acts 8:12: “When they believed…they were baptized”.

What about children? The requirement for baptism is belief in Jesus Christ. For this reason, we do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe. We do offer Baby Celebration as modeled in the Bible: 1 Samuel 1:27-28Luke 2:22Matthew 19:13-15.

Contact Doug Higuera for more information.