BAPTISM AT THE CROSSROADS 

 
What is the meaning of baptism?
1. Baptism is meant to be an illustration, or symbol, of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. In the act of baptism, we are identifying ourselves with His own death, burial, and resurrection.
 
Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:12 (NIV)
 
2. Baptism is also an illustration of my new life in Jesus Christ.
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. Romans 6:4 (NIV)
 
Why be baptized by immersion?
1. When Jesus was Himself baptized by John the Baptist, it was by immersion.
 
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. Matthew 3:16a (NIV)

2. There is no indication anywhere in the Scriptures that any baptisms were done in any other way than by immersion. The word “baptize” literally means to immerse or dip under water. When someone is immersed into water, it is the best way to “picture” a burial and a resurrection!

 
3. The founders of various denominations agree:
? Martin Luther (Lutheran) . . . “I would have those who are baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”
? John Calvin (Presbyterian & Reformed) . . . “The word baptize signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
? John Wesley (Methodist & Wesleyan) . . . “Buried with Him alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
 
Who should be baptized?
1. Every person who has trusted Christ as Savior should be baptized according to His command.
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. Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
 
2. At CrossRoads Church, we wait until children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. The Bible clearly teaches that baptism comes after the decision is made to trust Jesus for salvation.
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)
 
3. Some churches practice a baptism of confirmation or dedication for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.
 
This practice is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your own personal commitment to Christ. At the CrossRoads, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though many of us were “confirmed” or “dedicated” as children.
If you received a baptism of confirmation or dedication as an infant, the best way to view baptism by immersion is as an affirmation of your parents’ commitment to you as a child. That you are choosing to follow Christ and make your own decision to follow Him in baptism honors your parents’ earlier prayers and intentions.
 
What should I wear to be baptized?
Women should wear shorts and a top rather than a swimsuit. Men may wear a t-shirt and shorts or a swimsuit. Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes.
 

When should I be baptized?

The short answer is: As soon as you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ to save you. There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ’s gift of eternal life into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel “good enough!”
 
Then Philip began to speak; starting from this passage of scripture, he told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water, and the official said, “Here is some water. What is to keep me from being baptized?” The official ordered the carriage to stop, and both Philip and the official went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. Acts 8:35-38 (NIV)
 
If you are ready to be baptized, just let one of our pastors know. Then you just pick a date and you’re all set! We typically perform baptisms after the Sunday morning worship services. The baptisms take place in our our baptismal tank located behind the platform and projector screen. We dismiss the service then invite all those who wish to observe the baptisms to come up to the platform. We also plan an annual baptism service at the river (usually in August).
 
Can my family be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment. Young children who wish to be baptized are asked to meet with a children’s ministry leader to assure their understanding of the meaning and purpose of baptism.
 
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
 
Will I have to say anything?
At the end of the Sunday morning service, the pastor will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. When it is your turn, you will be introduced and asked if you have trusted Christ as your Savior. Then, you will cover your nose and mouth as you are immersed just under the water. At this point you can leave the baptism tub and dry off. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.