BAPTISM... at CELEBRATION CHURCH at Columbia

 
Questions about Baptism
 
 
 
What is the Meaning of Baptism?
 
At Celebration Church, we believe that all Christians should observe the ordinance of Baptism following in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   Our Lord was Baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:16).  The water Baptism of Jesus symbolized the end toward which His life was directed, typifying the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.  It symbolized the destruction of sin and death, which are the enemies of fellowship with God.
 

Why be Baptized by Immersion?

To "baptize" means to dip or to immerse, to be covered by water or to be put completely under water.  This is why we go completely under the water at Celebration Church, which is an expression of our will (or willingness) to bury our old life, die to self, and come up in the newness of our life in Christ.  Therefore, your Baptism is a public witness to the death of sin and the commencement of the new life that has occurred within you (Col 2:12, Romans 8:10-11). 

Who should be Baptized?

The Bible is very clear that water Baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but rather an act of obedience that follows salvation, and serves as a public witness to the world that we are followers of Jesus Christ.  Paul teaches in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by the grace of God alone.  As we put our faith in God through the finished work of Christ on the cross we are saved (Romans10:9-10, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13).  The Bible also clearly exhorts every believer to follow the example and command of our Lord Jesus to be Baptized (Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 28:18-19).  

Baptism is thus for each person who has decided to follow Christ.  It is not a purifying rite; rather, it stands as a witness to a moral path that has already occurred (I Corinthians 12:3; I Peter 3:21).  It has been written that "Baptism is an outward sign of an inner work."

What happens prior to the Baptism and what should I Wear?

Baptismal Classes:
  • Provide each candidate with an understanding of the true essence of the act of baptism;
  • Prepare each individual to give a brief testimony as to why they're being Baptized;
  • Familiarize each person with the "mechanics" of Baptism, i.e. when the pastor says "I now baptize you in the name..."  The individual will place his/her left hand over their lower chest area, while placing their right hand over their nose to obstruct the water, while at the same time, bending their knees slightly and surrendering themselves to the pastor's control;
  • Fit candidates with a baptismal robe, informs the candidates on what to wear/bring;
  • Are held the Sunday prior to Baptism.
 
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