What makes a Baptist a Baptist?
Well, the answer to that question is in the name!
FBCJB practices baptism, which simply means to be immersed in water, as a symbol of what Christ has accomplished in the life of the believer. It is an outward expression of an inward confession. It is a means of saying publicly that you have been transformed by the love and salvation that Christ has offered to all. It is s picture of one dying to self and sin and embracing the truth of God's love and will for your life.
What Baptism Is Not
1. Baptism is not a way to rid yourself of sin. Water has no magical power. It is only a symbolic picture of what has already occurred at the moment one turns to God and turns away from their sinfulness. It is only by placing confidence in the work of the cross that we can overcome our sinfulness. (Eph. 1:7,8, Titus 2:14, 1 John 1:7)
2. Baptism is not a means of salvation. The act of baptism is not a ritualistic event that can assure us of a future in heaven nor can it remedy our need for salvation. In order for our sins to be forgiven and our future secured, we must place our confidence and hope in Christ alone. (Acts 4:10-12; 10:43)
3. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Many religions teach a need for baptism in order to secure a right relationship with God. Remember God never contradicts Himself. The Bible is clear that a desire to trust God for salvation in Him alone is sufficient. The greatest example we have in the Bible is of the thief who died alongside Jesus at the crucifixion. (Luke 23:39-43) This thief was never baptized, yet Jesus assured him of his eternal destination. Remember it is Christ alone who secured salvation for us. It is not salvation plus baptism or plus anything else. To believe such a thing minimizes the power and sufficiency of the death of Jesus to make right our sin debt.
Who Should Be Baptized?
The Bible says that all who become Christ-followers should be baptized. (Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 2:38; 41, 9:18, 10:47-48, 22:16) If a person has a fear of water or is a young child who may be apprehensive, it is okay. Again, baptism is a symbol and public declaration of trust in Christ, not a requirement for salvation. As a child matures in age our fears are overcome and baptism can take place. It is important not to pressure those who are contemplating baptism. At the right time this opportunity to identify with Christ can be explored further.
Why Does Baptism Matter?
1. Baptism matters to God. It is a vital part of following Christ. God has instructed all Christ-followers to be baptized. (Matthew 28:19)
2. Baptism matters to the Christ-follower. There is no greater way to celebrate the life change that can only be found in Christ than to publicly identify with Him through baptism.
3. Baptism matters to the world. It is a public display of His power in your life and His potential power in the lives of others who will trust and believe in Him.