Jesus commands that those who follow him should be baptized in water as a declaration of identification with Jesus. We practice baptism by immersion (going under the water), symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Jesus himself was baptized as an example for us and God the Father expressed his approval of Jesus’ baptism. (Click here for a video of someone being baptized at Desert Springs)
Why should I be baptized?
Both the command of our Lord and the example of the early church indicate that baptism is an important means of publicly professing one’s faith in Jesus. Water baptism is not a requirement for the forgiveness of sins. Forgiveness comes solely by faith – apart from any religious works. However, baptism is a biblical command for a follower of Jesus. The New Testament does not seem to entertain the idea of an unbaptized Christian. Throughout the book of Acts (which tells about the beliefs and actions of the first Christians and the first century church) those who accepted Jesus affirmed that decision through water baptism as quickly as possible.
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has made the private decision to trust Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin should be baptized as a public profession of that decision. Children should be old enough to clearly state that they have a personal faith in Christ. While we periodically have infant dedications, we do not practice infant baptism at Desert Springs due to the lack of clear biblical precedent or command.
How do we practice baptism?
We practice baptism by immersion, which means that a person is submerged under water. The primary meaning of the biblical term “baptize” is “to dip” or “to immerse”. Immersion also graphically pictures the spiritual reality of one’s identification with Christ’s death and resurrection. Upon entering the baptistery, the person is asked how they came to know Christ and why they desire to be baptized. Based upon their profession of faith, the attending pastor, elder or other spiritual leader helps the person under the water and back up. As Jesus directed in Matthew 28, this baptism is done in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Who performs the baptism?
The Bible does not specify who has the authority to baptize. Since baptism is one of the sacraments of the church, one of our pastoral staff or elders will introduce and preside over the baptism of all individuals. However, we recognize the priesthood of all believers. If you have someone who has been instrumental in leading you to Christ or in assisting you in your spiritual growth, you may want to ask him or her to participate in your baptism. Please discuss this with the pastor with whom you have your interview.