Baptism

Baptism

Baptisms Opportunity on October 20th!  We will be doing baptisms for anyone that is interested during our Beach Party. The party runs from 2pm until Sunset. Bring food and drinks, TCC will be making the S'Mores! Here's some details about Baptism and what you can expect.

We believe that every follower of Christ should be baptized.  We see this as a command from Jesus who instructed the disciples to,

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19

In the Book of Acts we see several examples of how believers acted and responded once they understood the Gospel. When asked what they should do, Peter instructs them to

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you.” – Acts 2:38

The urgency of baptism and the desire to respond to this newfound faith is best demonstrated with the Ethiopian Eunuch who, after Philip explained the scriptures to him said,

“Look, here is water.  Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” – Acts 8:36

Baptism does not have an inherent power to make us right with God. The Bible is clear that baptism simply symbolizes an inner conversion that God has already caused inside of us. This is most clearly identified by Paul,

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  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.” – Romans 6:3

 

Question. I don’t feel like I know enough yet, should I wait until I know more?

No. Baptism symbolizes faith not knowledge. Many people wait thinking that they don’t want to get baptized prematurely. We simply don’t see this as a response in the scriptures.  As identified above, the Ethiopian Eunuch did not hesitate, in fact he wanted to act on his faith immediately.  That being said, before you get baptized, you should have an understanding of the depth of your sin, your need for repentance, and God’s saving grace through Jesus Christ. But if that is understood, you should repent and be baptized. Knowledge will come as the Holy Spirit teaches you.

Question. My child says they want to get baptized, how do I know if they are really ready?

Parents are going to be the best ones to be able to determine if their child understands the basic aspects of the faith. When your child says that they believe in Jesus and want to follow Him, you can ask them some questions to see if the understand what they are saying or just repeating what they have heard. The basic aspects can generally be described as the following: your child understands their sin, that repentance is necessary, and that God provided the only effective means of removing sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. If you are still unsure, feel free to ask one of the elders at TCC and we’d be happy to ask them some questions as well. In the end, take solace knowing that baptism does not actually cause anything to happen.  So if you are unsure, and your child is asking, we recommend that you allow them to get baptized…the last thing we would want is for them to feel discouraged.

Question: I was sprinkled / baptized as an infant / baptized into another denomination…should I get rebaptized?

Only if you feel like you should. While we believe that being fully immersed is the way to be baptized, its symbolic nature means this has more to do with your relationship with God than it does anything else. If you feel like you ought to get baptized again, feel free! What this doesn’t mean is that people should get baptized over and over again every time they have a renewed commitment to God.  Remember, baptism is a symbol of your being saved by God…that only happened once!

Question: I’m not sure I want a public baptism, can I do this privately?

We believe that Jesus established baptism to be a public symbol.  One that provides an outward testimony for an inward conversion. This testimony provided fellow followers of Christ with encouragement and inspiration, but it also allowed those who don’t follow Christ to see the Gospel proclaimed symbolically. As Paul mentions in Romans, the visual depiction of being buried under water and coming back up symbolizes Jesus’ death and resurrection. For these reasons, we believe that Baptism is one of the best ways to grow as a community and proclaim the Gospel.

Question: What do I have to do to get baptized?

First, just let an elder know. We would love for you to do a short video recording of you making a statement of your faith and your decision to follow Jesus, or you could do it from the stage when you get baptized. If you would like to tell your full conversion story we would love to hear it, this a great time to show off God and what He does in the life of His people! Once you are on stage, you could say something like, "I believe in Jesus and I have decided to follow Him.” If you are someone who doesn't like speaking in public, not a problem, we won't let that be an obstacle to you acting on your faith...just let us know!

 

If you would like to get baptized or have any other questions, please email us at info@tccjax.org.