A Believer’s Baptism in Water

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. – Matthew 28:19-20
What is baptism? 
Greek word: Baptizmo, which literally means to “dip under, to immerse or to dunk.” As Christians we practice this ordinance when someone, on their own volition, chooses to publicly testify that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. That salvation is received by faith (trust in what Christ has done on their behalf) and then a believer’s baptism is the declaration of that wonderful supernatural event that has taken place.
Take the following Bible passages over baptism and talk through the following questions with another Christian.
1. Matthew 3:1-11(What was John’s message? What did people do when they received his message? Who did John confront and refuse to baptize?)

2. Acts 8:1-13 (What evidence did the people see of God moving that confirmed Phillip’s message about Christ? Who was Simon in that town before the disciples came? What did the disciples require before baptism?

3. Acts 10:34-48 (What surprised the Jewish Christian brothers that came with Peter? Even though they received the Holy Spirit, did Peter still urge them as followers to be immersed in water?)

4. Romans 6:1-7 (What would Paul say to a Christian that willingly continues to walk in a sinful lifestyle? How does Paul symbolize this truth? Is it a true statement that baptism is a public funeral for the person they were before Christ? Do you think God is looking for perfection after baptism or a yielded disciple that will mature?)

Natural Events in the life of a person who follows Christ

- Salvation, Water Baptism, & Baptism in the Spirit -

- Salvation - 
This occurs when a person confesses with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believes in their heart that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9, John 1:12). This conversion to Christ always precedes a believer’s baptism. When someone surrender’s their life to Christ, they become His disciple. Immediately their human spirit that is dead due to sin, is regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Conversion is instantaneous and the life in Christ is a process of conforming to His will.  The Bible calls this lifelong process of being refined by Christ as “sanctification.” If someone that surrenders to Christ dies before water baptism, they have all the same promises given to any other child of God and will spend eternity with the Lord. (Luke 23:39-43 & Matthew 20:1-16)
- Water Baptism - 
Is the outward expression of a person’s faith in Christ. Every person mentioned in the New Testament as becoming a follower of Christ was baptized in water shortly after their profession of faith. (3000 converts @ the Feast of Pentecost: Acts 2:41, Samaritans responding to Phillip’s message of salvation 8:12, the Ethiopian Eunuch 8:38, the apostle Saul/Paul 9:18, Cornelius and his family 10:47-48, Lydia and her household 16:15, the Philippian jailer and his family 16:33, and the Ephesian disciples 19:5) In like fashion, followers of Christ should have an urgency to declare their faith through water baptism.
- Baptism in the Spirit - 
Until Cornelius’ house the Church considered the first two experiences (salvation and water baptism) essential before they could be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Lord clarified for the Church at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10-11 that the only precursor for the Lord’s empowerment was salvation through faith in Christ. Please note, this did not diminish the role of the act of immersion in water in the early Church because they continued to baptize people as soon as they were saved. If you are not yet empowered by the Holy Spirit like the 120 at Pentecost (2:4) or Cornelius’ house (10:44-46) seek Him with all your heart for this empowerment. He promises to immerse you with His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13) not just water. Without this event in a Christian’s life they lack the necessary power to carry out the Great Commission to the fullest in their lives. Many get baptized in the Spirit, right when they take the step to be baptized in water.

Questions we find in the Church today

I was baptized as a child. Do I need to be baptized again now that I know Christ?
Many God-fearing parents go to a traditional church when their children are young and are encouraged to baptize their children. As an act of faith they give that child to a pastor (or priest), they are sprinkled and prayer is offered. There is no biblical precedent for this act to be considered a baptism. It is more appropriate to refer to this as the child’s dedication like in Luke 2:22-38 where Simeon and the prophetess Anna dedicated Jesus eight days after His birth. No water, just prayer and prophetic words. If you were baptized as a child, thank your parents for committing you to the Lord, yet convey your desire to be baptized now that you are a Christian in keeping with the biblical pattern of salvation with baptism in water to follow.
I received water baptism as a Christian young person…. but fell away… and now I am back with Christ. Should I be baptized again?
Children that at a young age meet the Lord, commonly through their parents, are baptized in water through immersion with the biblical understanding that they have a personal relationship with Jesus. After the baptism they make choices and live a life that is consistent with the devil’s desires. At some point the conviction of God brings them to a place of repentance and recommitment to Christ. At this point they want to publicly declare their allegiance to Jesus Christ. “Should they be baptized again?” What we recommend in this general situation is that the person reaffirms their faith publicly, confesses sin and commits themselves to a local church family. This does not need to be accompanied with baptism because the believer’s baptism they received was valid. Just like any other person wallowing in sin, confession of that sin is the gate to freedom. Baptism is to identify with Jesus as Lord and Savior and that took place shortly after they placed their trust in Him as a young person and there is no need for re-baptism. On the other hand, if due to peer pressure or parental expectation, yet without a relationship with Jesus they got baptized; they should be baptized as an act of their will, in confessing Christ publicly, for the first time as a follower of Christ.
Should I get baptized if I am still struggling with sin?
Water is not a magic potion that will take away temptation! Thankfully Jesus “was tempted in all ways” (Hebrews 4:15) should give you great hope. Temptation will come, but what you do when they are presented? That said, sin is when you choose to act on that temptation and grieve the heart of God with your disobedience. Make sure you confess your sin to the Lord and another Christian. Pray for strength and freedom from that bondage. Begin the practice “quick confession” to the Lord when you are tempted or choose to sin. Come to the Lord regularly, ask Him to search your heart and expose any sin. You will find that the sins that tempt you now will change over time but the posture of a child asking their Dad questions will remain. So, get baptized in water and choose to walk before the Lord. Conform your life to His commands and promptings you get in prayer. Remember that purity is not the absence of sin by a commitment to light!

Baptism at Grays Harbor Foursquare Church

We offer the opportunity to be water baptized to anyone who declares that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They do not have to be a member of the church but we strongly encourage them to be plugged into a Christian church to grow in their faith. As with John the Baptist in Matthew 3- what is required is a broken and contrite heart toward the Lord and His saving grace evident.
We prefer to do this in a congregational setting, so that fellow Christians can celebrate God being active in their local church. It also adds a level of accountability in the discipleship process. This is not necessary though, the Early Church baptized quickly after salvation and that may have been a river or any body of water that they could immerse the new disciple.  Today that may be a pool, hot tub or a lake. If you choose to do it outside of a congregational setting, take a picture and send it to your pastors, so we can rejoice with this step of faith.
What will it look like: 
The pastors (or possibly other people that were used by the Lord in bringing them to faith) will join together at the front of the congregation to baptize you in water. Simple dark T-Shirt and shorts are perfect attire.
#1. Share why you want to be baptized and testify to what Jesus has done in your life. We may pre-record this to play for the congregation, so you will not feel put on the spot.
#2. You will be immersed completely in water and raised in the newness of life
#3. Leaders in the church will pray over you and share prophetic words they receive.
#4. Choose to live a life worthy of praise before your Lord and King

Water Baptism Preparatory Questions

This will assist you by “flushing out” why you want to be baptized and share with the pastors the testimony of the Lord in your life.

Basic Info to help create your baptism certificate: