We welcome Jordan Woods as a guest poster. Jordan will be sharing with us regarding Believer’s Baptism…
First we must start by defining what Believer’s Baptism is, Believer’s baptism (occasionally called credobaptism, from the Latin word credo meaning “I believe”) is the Christian practice of baptism as this is understood by many evangelical denominations, particularly those that descend from the Anabaptist and English Baptist tradition. According to their understanding, a person is baptized on the basis of his or her profession of faith in Jesus Christ and as admission into a local community of faith.
On the other side we have those that hold to infant baptism, otherwise known as paedobaptism. In this case parents of infants baptize their children as babies not on the basis of a confession of faith, but rather most paedobaptists see baptism as a sign of the new covenant and therefore baptize their infant children.
Why baptize? Well we see the first mention of baptism in the new testament in the case of John the Baptist and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ when John says 11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12 NASB
We get baptized as the first ordinance of two ordinances commanded and instituted in the Church by Christ Jesus Himself. (The other being the Lord’s Supper) Baptism itself is a symbolic act of us burying our old man and being raised new in Christ. Romans 6:4 brilliantly expresses this: “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” NASB
In Colossians 2:9-12 we see similar language again 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made [i]complete, and He is the head [j]over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” NASB
Common misconceptions can arise from the teaching of Believer’s Baptism such as does baptism save you? Do you have to continually be baptized? Does baptism forgive you of your sins? There are simple yet succinct answers to all of these questions, let’s tackle the first one.
Does the act of baptism save you? Absolutely not! Baptism is a symbolic act of burying our old self and being raised to new life in Christ but the actual act in and of itself has no saving power. As we are told in the Word of God “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB So we see salvation itself is not an act in which we can accomplish rather it is by grace through faith ALONE. Nothing that we can do in and of ourselves can save us from the wrath of God to come!
Baptism is an act that should be done once a person has a genuine confession of faith. We do not want to prolong a baptism of a believer though we do want to make sure that their confession is genuine and that they understand the seriousness of the ordinance itself. Baptism should also only he done once in a lifetime as the act itself is not a saving, rather it is a proclamation of the Believer’s faith in Christ and their desire (that God placed within them) to endure with Christ until the end.
The only way one can be saved is by repentance and belief as Romans 10 says in verses 9-11 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” NAS
In summary, baptism is a sacred ordinance of the New Testament Church and is what a believer should seek to do once he or she has made a confession of faith and desires to serve and obey Christ. I will close this with our Savior’s words in Matthew 28 verses 18-20 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” NASB