BAPTISM AT THE FIELDS
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
The word “baptize” means “to immerse, to dip under”. Therefore, baptism is immersing someone under water. Baptism in water was used by various religious groups at the time of Jesus. Sometimes it was used as an initiation rite. Some religions taught that it actually cleansed you spiritually. That wasn’t the case with Christianity. For Christians, it simply identified a person with Jesus Christ. It was an outward sign of an inward commitment. A wedding ring is great example of what baptism is like. A wedding ring doesn’t make you married, it just shows other people that you are – that you have made a life commitment to another person. It lets them know that you belong to someone else. The whole community, both believers and unbelievers can observe your commitment through the act of baptism. Through baptism we publicly let others know who we belong to, the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a statement of the commitment we have made to Jesus.
WHY DO WE DO IT?
Jesus told his followers, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20). Here at The Fields we follow those instructions of Jesus by baptizing in water those who have made a commitment to following Jesus with their lives. We practice what is known as “believers baptism” which means that once a person has committed their lives to believing and following Jesus, then we will baptize them.
Water baptism is for the person who has become a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s for the person who has come to Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, believed that Jesus is the only answer to their sin, and has made a commitment to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Water baptism is for the person who has become a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s for the person who has come to Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, believed that Jesus is the only answer to their sin, and has made a commitment to follow Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Some Christian traditions practice infant baptism. Since we understand baptism as an outward sign of an inward commitment that a person makes, we practice “believers baptism”. We encourage children to wait until they can understand the commitment they are making before being baptized. Having said that, we do encourage parents to publicly dedicate their children to the Lord. A Child Dedication is actually a commitment the parents make before God to raise their children to know and love the Lord with the hope that one day the child will make a decision to follow Jesus.
WHAT BAPTISM IS NOT
The Bible is very clear that baptism does not save a person or add to their salvation in any way. We are saved by faith alone, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast (Eph. 2:8,9). It is simply an act of obedience because Jesus commanded us to do it. What do I need to do to be baptized? First, be sure that you are a follower of Jesus Christ. This means that you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior, that you have made a commitment to follow Him. Secondly, understand what water baptism is about. It’s a symbol of our commitment to Jesus. It doesn’t save or add to our salvation. Lastly, let one of our pastors know in advance that you want to be baptized and then show up at one of our baptisms.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
Our baptisms usually take place at the beach or in a pool if the weather is cold. Bring a bathing suit, a t-shirt and shorts that can get wet and a towel. Be ready to tell those present why you want to be baptized. A simple, “I’m telling the world that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and have given my life to him” is fine. Lastly, you might want to have a camera or invite some friends or family to share this special occasion.