Questions About Baptism. Norwin Christian Church

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1 Questions About Baptism Norwin Christian Church

2 Questions About Baptism Table of Contents: Introduction 4 Key Bible Passages on Baptism 5-8 Bible Examples of Baptism 9-10 Miscellaneous Questions Next Steps 14 Concluding Thoughts

3 This document was created at Norwin Christian Church of North Huntingdon, PA in order to help people Come to God. Permission is granted to any religious group or institution to duplicate this brochure as long as no changes are made and that no profit is made for its duplication. This license does not extend to any part of this work which has been reprinted or otherwise included without the permission of Norwin Christian Church. Scripture quotations are taken from several different translations: ESV: English Sandard Version, the Holy Bible. Copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. NIV: New International Version, the Holy Bible. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica. All rights reserved. NLT: New Living Translation, the Holy Bible. Copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois All rights reserved. Revised April 1, 2015 Questions About Baptism_ _PDF Version.pub 3

4 Introduction Our strongest desire is to follow Jesus Christ as our Savior, Lord, and Leader of His Church. The Bible tells us to follow the teachings of Jesus. And it is in the Bible that we discover a proper understanding of baptism. Since there are many beliefs about baptism prevalent in our family members and friends, it is especially important that we start with what the Bible says. We know that may be difficult for some because of how long we have believed what someone else has told us instead of learning the truth for ourselves. And in no way do we want to harm the loving memory of those meaningful people in our lives. We are simply doing our best to put Jesus Christ and what the Bible says in its proper place. We do not want to make baptism any more or less important than the Bible does. Our goal is merely to follow what the Bible says no matter what our own experience, upbringing, or thoughts may be. So take your time during reading and considering what is presented here. And please contact us if you have any question at all. " 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God (or messenger of God ) may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 4

5 Key Passages on Baptism The following Bible verses discuss baptism. They are a primary source of instruction in the New Testament. Read each verse and then answer the question(s): 1. Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT) 13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, he said, so why are you coming to me? 15 But Jesus said, It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. So John agreed to baptize him. 16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Who was baptized? (verse 15-16) Why was Jesus baptized? (verse 15) 2. Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) 18 And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. 5

6 According to the Great Commission, what is our primary job? (verse 19) How is this accomplished? (verses 19 & 20) 3. Acts 2:37-41 (NIV) 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, Brothers, what shall we do? 38 Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, Save yourselves from this corrupt generation. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. When the people were ready, what did Peter tell them to do? (verse 38) What were they assured of if they sincerely took these steps? (verses 38 & 39) When were they baptized? (verse 41) 6

7 4. Romans 6:1-4 (ESV) 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. How are we joined with Christ? (verses 3-4) When are we joined with Christ? (verse 4) What form of baptism most closely illustrates the meaning in these verses? Why? Immersion, sprinkling, or pouring 5. Galatians 3:26-28 (NLT) 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. What joins us with Christ Jesus? (verse 26) When are we joined with Christ? (verse 27) What do we receive through faith & baptism? (verse 28) 7

8 6. Colossians 2:11-12 (NLT) 11 When you came to Christ, you were circumcised, but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. With the understanding that the Jewish people practice circumcision as a part of Abraham s covenant, what is baptism s connection with circumcision? (verse 11) When are we given new life? (verse 12) 7. 1 Peter 3:18-21 (ESV) 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ," Why do we baptize with water? 8

9 Biblical Examples of Baptism The New Testament book of Acts records the start of the church. Here are historical examples of baptism: 1. Acts 2:41 People in Jerusalem (NIV) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 2. Acts 8:12 People in Samaria (NIV) But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 3. Acts 8:36 & 38 The Ethiopian Eunuch (NIV) As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized? 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 4. Acts 9:18 Apostle Paul (NIV) Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 5. 10:48 The First Gentiles (NIV) So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. 9

10 6. Acts 16:14-15 Lydia (NIV) 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. If you consider me a believer in the Lord, she said, come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us. 7. Acts 16:33 The Philippian Jailer (NIV) At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 8. Acts 18:8 People at Corinth (NIV) Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Based on these verses, answer the following questions: Who should be baptized? When should a believer be baptized? What is the pattern that we should follow today? 10

11 Miscellaneous Questions 1. What should I wear? There are robes available in the private changing rooms behind the baptistery. We would suggest wearing a bathing suit under the robe for your baptism. We have plenty of clean towels, but you may want to bring your own hair dryer & comb. 2. Will I have to say anything? Yes. You will be asked to repeat this phrase as a public profession of your faith, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and my Lord and Savior. This is based upon Peter s profession found in Matthew 16: Will I have to be baptized at church on Sunday or in front of a large group of people? No! Baptisms take place whenever a person is ready to be baptized, no matter what day of the week it may be. We encourage Sunday morning baptisms as a way of sharing your decision with your new Christian family since we are fellow heirs with Christ. But we are more than willing to work together to find an appointed time and place that honors God s Word and meets your needs. 4. Why do you immerse and not sprinkle or pour? As we have seen in the previous verses, baptism in the original language means to dip, immerse or plunge. There are other Greek words for sprinkling or pouring that are not used in these passages. (See Matthew 3:16, John 3:23, and Acts 8:38 as examples of immersion.) 11

12 5. Can my family be baptized together? Yes as long as each family member is making their own personal decision. If each family member understands the meaning of baptism and each one has personally placed his or her trust in Christ for their salvation, then we would encourage the family to celebrate their baptism together. There is even a story in Acts of a family baptism that we mentioned earlier. So we have Biblical precedent for the practice. Our other concern for this question is that it may be unwise to wait for other members of the family to make their decision. Desiring a family baptism may put unnecessary pressure on family members who have not yet made their own decision. Ultimately, we must remain open to God s leading and the individual response of each family member. 6. Should infants be baptized? At NCC, we believe that all mankind has a sinful nature or a tendency to sin. However, we believe that God does not hold us accountable for sin until we are old enough to understand that we are in rebellion against God. When a person reaches that age of accountability, we encourage them to accept Christ through faith, repentance, confession and baptism. 7. Who can baptize? The Bible shows Christians baptizing other people who want to become Christians. Therefore, you can have any Christian baptize you. We encourage you to discuss this step with the disciple who has encouraged you the most in your desire to follow Christ. When you are ready, contact us and we can arrange a time for your baptism as we celebrate this moment together. 12

13 8. Can I be a member of your church and not be baptized? Baptism was an ordinance in the New Testament church (Matthew 28:18-20), therefore it is in ours as well. In the New Testament everyone who accepted Christ was baptized into Christ. Through their participation in baptism, they became members of the church. At Norwin Christian Church, we believe in following the scriptural example as closely as possible. Thus, all those who have chosen to be members at NCC have been immersed into Christ, either here or at another church. We recognize that other churches do not have this position, but we make no judgment regarding their practices. 9. What do I do if I have been baptized somewhere else for reasons revealed in this study? Your next step is to consider joining Norwin Christian Church or transferring your membership from another church. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are already a member of God s church. But we believe local church membership provides the best avenue for service and the greatest level accountability in our daily walk. 13

14 Next Steps Now that you have seen for yourself what the Bible teaches about baptism, it is necessary to consider your next step. But that may be difficult to do depending on how much new information you now have about baptism. With that in mind, we would like to offer two possible paths. Read each of the steps that are in bold and follow the next step that best fits your situation. And if none of the steps listed here help, please contact one or elders or ministry staff members. They are ready to talk with you about your next step. PATH 1: You have never been baptized and you would like to be baptized at Norwin Christian Church. Congratulations on your decision. Now is the time to talk to someone about being baptized. You may contact us using the information below, fill out a Communicator Card on Sunday morning, or simply walk forward at the end of a Sunday morning service. PATH 2: You have been baptized somewhere else for reasons NOT revealed in this study Thank you for considering what the Bible says about baptism. Because every situation is unique, your next step is to talk with an elder or ministry staff member Barnes Lake Rd. North Huntingdon, PA (724) Internet:

15 Concluding Thoughts We practice baptism by immersion because we believe that baptism, in the original language of the New Testament, literally means to immerse, bury, dip, or plunge. We believe baptism is for all believers. (See Ephesians 4:5) and is more than a sign or a symbol. As you have seen in your personal study, Scripture indicates a broader, more significant meaning. In baptism: - We are Connected to Christ (See Romans 6:1-5 and Colossians 2:12) - We are Clothed with Christ (See Galatians 3:26-27) - We have Communion (a spiritual union) with Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (See Acts 2:38) We believe baptism identifies someone as a believer in Jesus who wants to follow the principles and teachings of Christ. Additionally, the Bible specifically speaks of baptism saving us - twice in 1 Peter 3:21. It connects baptism with the pledging of a good conscience before God as well as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we believe that Jesus Commissioned that baptism be taught and practiced by His followers (See Matthew 28:18-20). Your personal study should reveal that Jesus first century disciples considered baptism equal to all other areas involved in receiving God s gift of salvation. Each part is just as important as the other. We believe that salvation comes through Hearing, Believing, Confessing, Repenting, and Baptizing. 15

16 Thank you for spending time in God s Word and discovering for yourself what the Bible teaches about baptism. If you are ready to be baptized, you may come forward during the time of decision in any of our services. And if you have any further questions, please contact us by phone or . Our Elders, Ministry Staff, Deacons, Ministry Team Leaders, or Community Group Leaders would be honored to speak with you, whether you are ready to be baptized or simply curious about your next step with God. 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4 ESV 16

17 Norwin Christian Church 9610 Barnes Lake Road North Huntingdon, PA

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