What is Baptism?
An outward expression of an inward change.
If you’re a follower of Jesus, you have a story worth telling. Most people are nervous and unsure. But we have never met anyone who has regretted being baptized—only regretted not be baptized sooner.
BELIEF THEN BAPTISM
Baptism is the outward demonstration of your inward decision to follow Jesus.
At Highpoint, we practice baptism by immersion, instead of sprinkling or pouring, because that is what we see in the Bible – they went into the water and came up from the water.
Baptism by immersion is a significant picture:
- It is a picture of Jesus – His death, burial, and resurrection.
- It is also a picture of our story – we were dead in sin but, in Jesus, we are forgiven and raised to new life.
The act of baptism does not save you. Jesus saves you. Baptism is the Biblical way to confess and declare that you are saved.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”
“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
“Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.”
“And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
“And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.”
These verses from the New Testament show that immediately after someone believed, they were baptized as a public profession of their faith.
As soon as you decide to follow Jesus, baptism is your next step. There is no reason to delay (Acts 8:12).
The Biblical order is belief, then baptism.
We see an immediate response in the Bible. There wasn’t a 6-week baptism class that needed to be completed as a prerequisite. There wasn’t a waiting period to gain approval or to be confirmed to be baptized.
In the Bible it was: “See, here is some water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36 b).
- If you are a new believer – it’s never too soon to be baptized.
- If you have known the Lord for years or decades – it’s never too late to be baptized.
Some of the greatest baptism moments at Highpoint have been people in both categories – new believers and long-time believers – both stepping forward in obedience.
Jesus was baptized and commands each of His followers to be baptized. Whether you’ve been a Christian for a few days or weeks, or for years or even decades, don’t delay your obedience to Jesus!
Remember the order in the Bible – belief, then baptism.
If you were baptized as an infant, it was your parents’ decision to baptize you, not your decision to be baptized. Your parents loved you and did what they thought was best. Be grateful for your parents and their actions!
That said, what is seen in the Bible is personal belief in Jesus then baptism.
You are not saved because your parents, grandparents, or siblings believe in Jesus. You’re saved by grace through faith. Again, the order – belief, then baptism.
To be baptized as a believer does not disrespect your parents. In fact, it honors them because you are affirming what your parent desired for you by baptizing you.
The Bible does not teach the need to be baptized repeatedly.
- If you were baptized before genuine belief, you should be baptized again.
- If you were baptized after personal belief, you don’t need to be baptized again and again. You don’t need to be baptized at each church you attend. Or after each time you sin or rededicate yourself.
- Perhaps you were unsure about your faith when you were baptized. Perhaps you were baptized in grade school or at a teen retreat because other students were being baptized, but you didn’t really start following the Lord until later in your life. You’re not sure when you were saved and you want your baptism to be a meaningful moment – we encourage you to be baptized again.
Our general guideline is to wait until a student has a mature understanding of what it means to be baptized, as determined by a pastor at Highpoint.
The reason we have this guideline is because baptism is to please the Lord, not a parent. We want to encourage personal decision for both belief and baptism at the time that they decide.
Yes, if each person has a personal story of faith in Christ! What a great thing to do together as a family or husband and wife or parent and child.
There are several reasons why a Christian should get baptized:
- Baptism is my opportunity to proclaim Jesus publicly (Acts 8:12, 36-37).
“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
“And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he replied, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”Acts 8:36
- Baptism is my opportunity to identify with Jesus personally (Romans 6:3-4).
“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 6:3-4
- Baptism is modeled by Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17).
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:16-17
- Baptism is commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).
“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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
- Baptism is a step of obedience to demonstrate my love for Jesus (John 14:21).
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21
BAPTISM IS A PRIORITY
Jesus was baptized as an example & He commands us to be baptized.
BAPTISM IS A PICTURE
Through baptism, we identify with Jesus’ death, burial, & resurrection. We signify that we were dead in our sin, forgiven in Christ, & raised to new life.
BAPTISM IS PERSONAL
Baptism is a personal decision to walk in faith & obedience. It’s not something parents can do for a child or a spouse for a spouse or a friend for a friend.
BAPTISM IS A PUBLIC PROFESSION
Baptism is an opportunity to publicly profess your faith in Jesus & share your salvation story with others.
Interested in learning more?
Complete the baptism form below and one of our staff members will be in contact with you soon.