And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Now they who received his word were baptized, and … they continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles and in the communion of the breaking of the bread and in the prayers. (Acts 2:41-42) But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17) Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations… (Luke 24:46-47) …sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence… (1 Peter 3:15)

What Is Christian Baptism?

Baptism is a new covenant relationship with God. The baptismal covenant is God’s promise to shower us with the gifts of His unconditional love and forgiveness. Grace is God’s unconditional love in action – first rescuing us, and then pouring out His blessings and His Spirit in our lives. His grace is most poignantly and powerfully expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for us. God is lavish with His grace, giving us not only forgiveness but the full standing of a son in ancient Israel enjoying a special relationship with the Father and destined to enjoy a future inheritance. As followers of Jesus we radiate an atmosphere of grace, and become truly gracious people responding to the abundant, and amazing unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ. Baptism is a celebration of God’s grace, not human achievement. It is a means of grace through which God acts to seal the promises of the gospel. Baptism is not an end in itself. It always points beyond itself to celebrate God’s grace and covenant faithfulness. Baptism is a sign of a relationship that is covenantal, not contractual. Our relationship with God in Christ is based on promises, like a marriage. Baptism is deeply personal, but never private. It is a communal action of the gathered congregation, which represents the church in all times and places. Christian baptism is immersion in water together with God’s Word that transforms the believer, granting a new identity in Christ. Baptism is a covenant celebrating a new relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord. Baptism does not save a person. Rather, baptism is the first act of obedience for one who has been saved. The model given to us in the Bible is that baptism immediately follows receiving the gift of faith.

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Acts 2:41

Why Should I Be Baptized?

To receive God’s grace.

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms–all because we are one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7) Because Christ Himself commands it.”  Then Jesus said to them, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19) To publicly proclaim that I am a believer.” And many who heard him believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:8) To openly demonstrate my desire to obey Christ and my willingness to come under His Lordship in my life.”Why do you call me “Lord, Lord” and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46) Baptism is the act that initiates the Christian into the fellowship of the believers, the body of Christ. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

What Is The Meaning Of Baptism?

Baptism is all about grace. Baptism is about God’s powerful Word present in water overwhelming us with grace.

“For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us.” (Romans 3:23-35)

Baptism illustrates Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

“Christ died for sins according to the Scriptures He was buried and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) “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)

This is why baptism is done by immersion rather than by sprinkling. Baptism illustrates my new life as a Christian.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) “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 6:5)

Who Is A Candidate For Baptism?

Those who hear the Gospel.

“and many who heard him believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18:8)

Those who believe in Christ.

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16)

Those who repent of sin.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” (Acts 2:38)

Those who confess Christ with their mouth.

“If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Those who in good conscience pledge their life to Christ.

“Baptism that now saves you, not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 3:21)

How Can I Schedule A Baptism?

At Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, we desire to do everything we can to help you with this very important time in your life. We have provided several scheduling options for your convenience (note: children 5 – 12 years are asked to attend the Kids Baptism Class BEFORE scheduling a baptism. To begin the process of scheduling a baptism, contact the Church office during weekday hours, Monday through Friday, at 301-652-5160. You may check the “More Information about Baptism” box on your Sunday morning info card.