Once you have made a decision for Christ, baptism is the next step. Baptism is the outward demonstration of an internal change. It is not a requirement for salvation, but is our way to tell the world that we have chosen to identify our lives with Christ and commit our futures to Him. Baptisms at Woodcrest occur three times a year.
Baptism is a very important step symbolizing obedience to Christ. It is a public expression of an internal decision to follow Christ. Baptism comes after trusting Christ as forgiver and leader.
Scripture records many people who first trusted Christ and then were baptized. There is not a single Biblical example of baptism before conversion. The New Testament order is "believe and then be baptized." Baptism is symbolic; water cannot wash away sin. Baptism is merely an object lesson of how our sins were forgiven by the death of Jesus Christ.
The two baptisms described in the Bible were both by immersion. Jesus’ baptism found in Mark 1:10-11 and the Ethiopian’s baptism in Acts 8:36-39. The Biblical descriptions always imply immersion; when people are baptized "in water," they are depicted as "going down into" and "coming up out of" the water. The symbolism of baptism is best pictured by immersion.
First, baptism pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. - Romans 6:3-4
Second, baptism pictures our personal identification with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Woodcrest practices baptism as a celebration of a new commitment to follow Jesus Christ! We baptize people who have never been baptized for the reasons outlined in the Bible and in the manner outlined in the Bible. We are not rejecting previous spiritual or church experiences — just completing them.
Throughout this page we’ve shown you some of the verses in the Bible that back up our text. Part of your growing relationship with Christ is checking out these facts for yourself.
- "And when Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven saying, ’You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.’"
- "As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ’Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?’ He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing."
- "Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives."
2 Corinthians 5:17
- "What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!"
Excerpts from the New Living Translation
The next baptism is Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at Albert Oakland Pool.
Questions? Contact Dana Sharland