In the Bible, baptism is the physical step paired with the internal step of repentance that is the acceptance of Jesus. At Area 10, we encourage you to be baptized when you accept Jesus as the forgiver and leader of your life.
If you have questions about baptism read the information below and listen to Chris Barras' message. You can also send us an email.
Feel ready to make that commitment? Fill out the Baptism Application below and we'll follow up with you to help you make that step.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH BAPTISM?
Baptism is a part of becoming a follower of Jesus. It's saying to him, "I'm willing to become the person you originally created me to be." And in the New Testament book of Acts, every story of someone putting their trust in Jesus includes their baptism, a dynamic picture of a new life with God. In fact Jesus himself was baptized:
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Not only was Jesus baptized, but he tells us to baptize others:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the 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.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BAPTIZED?
So Jesus was baptized and he tells his disciples to baptize others, but what does baptism mean? The Bible uses lots of symbolic language to describe what happens when we are baptized:
I Peter 3:18-22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits—to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.
WHO SHOULD GET BAPTIZED?
Jesus was baptized. He tells his followers to baptized others. So to get an understanding of who should get baptized, let’s walk through these verses that explain our need for Jesus:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Romans 3:23 ... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9 ... if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Acts 2:36-38 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 3:26-27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Baptism is public confession to follow Jesus, and it’s in baptism that our sins are washed away (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16). At baptism we receive the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Acts 2:38), and we experience resurrection ourselves when we are buried with Christ and raised to a new life (Romans 6). It’s in baptism that we become children of God and clothe ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27).
ARE YOU READY FOR BAPTISM?
The decision to be baptized is an important one, and should not be made with out careful thought and consideration. The following verses will help us to think about:
Mark 16:14-16 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Baptism is paired with belief. Answering the following questions should help you determine if baptism is something you’re ready for:
Are you sorry for things that you’ve done that go against God’s will?
Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He alone can save you from your sins and reconcile your relationship to God?
Do you desire to follow Him, to live a renewed and transformed life with help of the Holy Spirit?
If you answered ”Yes,” you’re ready to be baptized!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE “IN CHRIST”?
The Bible talks about being baptized “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3). Take some time to read the following verses and pray about what it will mean for you to be “in Christ.” We hope that theses scriptures will help you to live a renewed life by the power of God working in you.
I Corinthians 12:12-20
II Corinthians 5:17
1 John 5:1-8
What about my infant baptism?
In the Bible, we see parents bringing their children to Jesus, who held and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He didn’t baptize them or tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your Baptism as an adult can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents' wishes. It in no way repudiates the baptism you received as a child, but this time it’s your decision.
What If I'm already following Christ?
In the Bible we see people being baptized when they first believe in Christ. However, you may not have been baptized when you first started following Christ. If anyone didn’t need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins it was Jesus, and John tells him as much: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. (Matthew 3:13-15)
Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. If you already follow Jesus, we encourage you to be baptized as a public declaration of your commitment to God, to fulfill all righteousness.
What if I am uncertain about being baptized?
Baptism is a very important decision and is meant to mark a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, making him your Lord and Savior. If you’re not ready to commit your life to Him and to ask the Holy Spirit to be present with you, then you shouldn’t be baptized. If you’re uncertain, you should pray about it and seek wise counsel. You are encouraged to talk to your small group leader or a staff member to help you decide.
Do I need to get baptized publicly?
As baptism is an outward expression of an inward commitment, it’s our hope that all who get baptized will do it publicly. One, to declare your love for God in front of those you love, and two, as an example to others who may not yet follow Christ. This may be their first step towards following God’s will for their life.
Who will baptize me?
Any baptized follower of Christ may baptize you; it doesn’t have to be Area 10 Staff. You may want to ask someone who made a significant impact on your life in your journey towards following Christ (friend, small group member, family member).
What should I wear when I get baptized?
The day you get baptized, wear dark shorts, provided Area 10 shirt, and bring a towel. You can wear whatever you want to underneath. For men, a pair of shorts/swim trunks will be fine. For ladies, a swimsuit is great too. If you’re going to be baptized during first service, please be at The Byrd by 9:00 AM. If you are being baptized second service, please be at The Byrd at 10:45. Someone will be there to meet you in front of the stage.
We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism and celebrate with you.