What we believe and teach at Family Baptist about Baptism:
1. Baptism pictures Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
When believers are baptized by immersion they are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ by being place under the water and then “raised to walk in a new life.”
2. Baptism pictures our identification with Christ.
The act of baptism pictures the idea of our being identified with Christ (Romans 6:3-4 and Colossians 2:12). In the book of Acts it is explicitly clear that Christians are baptized (on, in or into) “the name of Jesus.”
3. Baptism is a public testimony of faith in Christ.
Throughout church history individuals have given public testimony of their personal faith in Jesus Christ by being baptized. In the Bible individuals who placed their faith in Christ were baptized as their expression of faith.
4. Baptism places a believer into His church.
Being identified with Christ means being identified with his body, the church. This is described in Acts 2:41 where those who were baptized were added to the church.
Throughout church history baptism has been understood as the “initiatory rite” into the local church.
Additional questions concerning baptism:
1. Is baptism required for membership at Family Baptist Church?
Yes. Jesus commands that all believers are to be baptized and to disobey this command displays a lack of submission to Christ and His church. Also, baptism is always closely connected with membership in the NT. Both go together, so only baptized believers are eligible to become members at Family Baptist Church.
2. What about brothers and sisters who have been baptized when they were infants according to either Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Tradition?
Family Baptist does not affirm as members brothers or sisters in Christ who have not been baptized as believers. We are convinced by the testimony of Scripture that baptism is to occur after one has made a confession of faith that Jesus Christ is Lord, thus excluding infant baptism.
Also, biblically, baptism is a complete immersion. Because Scripture includes no examples of baptism by any other mode, we do not accept as members brothers or sisters who have not been baptized (or literally from Greek, immersed in water).
3. What about a particular age for children who want to be baptized?
Here at Family Baptist we do not recommend or establish a particular age for children to be baptized. We do not want to discourage a regenerate child from being baptized, yet also want to exercise careful discernment to avoid deception and false assurance in a child’s life by baptizing him or her before he or she is biblically regenerate and able to understand and embrace the Gospel.
Therefore, we will work deliberately with parents to ensure that a child (before being baptized) is able to understand, articulate, and embrace the Gospel, believer’s baptism, and church membership, and bears the fruit of regeneration.
A child will not be baptized until his or her parents (if they are believers) and elders together agree that the child is ready to be baptized.
4. Can an unbaptized believer participate in the Lord’s Supper at Family Baptist Church?
All believers who are following Christ in repentance and faith, and are walking in obedience to Christ, are welcome to participate in the Lord’s Supper at Family Baptist. Preceding the administering of the elements in the Lord’s Supper, we encourage one another to examine themselves, prayerfully confess one’s sin, and repent in obedience to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Because baptism is the command of Christ, and thus to be obeyed, we continually exhort every believer who has not yet been baptized to pursue baptism as soon as it is possible at Family Baptist Church.
5. Who is permitted to baptize believers at Family Baptist Church?
As we believe baptism is one of two ordinances given by Jesus to the church, to be administered
in the church, we believe that pastors and elders who oversee the local church are to administer this
ordinance and baptize believers. Therefore, only the pastors and elders of First Baptist Church baptize
believers at our local church.