Baptism

The following is a brief summary of what the Bible teaches about baptism. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at info@zionlife.com.

Why should I be baptized?

1. TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE SET BY CHRIST.
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him." Mark 1:9-10

2. BECAUSE CHRIST COMMANDS IT.
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:19-20

3. IT DEMONSTATES THAT I REALLY AM A BELIEVER.
"...and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." Acts 18:8
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we obey his commandments." 1 John 2:3

What is the meaning of baptism?

1. IT ILLUSTRATES CHRIST'S DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION.
"Christ died for our sins . . . He was buried. . . and He rose again." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." Colossians 2:12

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

2. IT ILLUSTRATES MY LIFE CHANGE AS A CHRISTIAN.
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

Baptism doesn't make you a believer – it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not "save" you, only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it's the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Why be baptized by immersion?

1. BECAUSE JESUS WAS BAPTIZED THAT WAY.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water…" Matthew 3:16

2. EVERY BAPTISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS BY IMMERSION.
Example: "...then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water..." Acts 8:38-39

3. THE WORD "BAPTIZE" MEANS "TO GO UNDER WATER."
The Greek word "baptizo" means "to immerse or dip under water."

4. IT BEST SYMBOLIZES A BURIAL AND RESURRECTION.
The founders of denominations agree:
Martin Luther..."I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies."
John Calvin..."The word 'baptize' signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church."
John Wesley..."Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."

Who should be baptized?

EVERY PERSON WHO HAS BELIEVED IN CHRIST.

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized..." Acts 2:41

"Simon himself believed and was baptized." Acts 8:13

"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12

What about baptizing children?

At Zion, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. Nowhere in the Bible do we find instructions for baptizing children.

Some churches practice a "baptism of confirmation" for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.

This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ. At Zion it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated.

When should I be baptized?

As soon as you have believed!

"Those who believed . . . were baptized . . .that day." Acts 2:4

"Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 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?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." Acts 8:35-38 NIV

There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are "perfect," you'll never feel "good enough!"

Can my family be baptized together?

Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment.

However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience. We encourage you to invite your relatives to attend your baptism.

What if I want to be baptized?

Arrangements are made for you by 1) contacting the office at 745-2814, 2) emailing Pastor Trent at trent@zionlife.com, 3) by responding at the end of one of our celebration services, or 4) by using one of our Communication Cards inside our weekly Worship Folder. One of the pastors will contact you to discuss your salvation experience and set a date for you to be baptized.

On the day you are baptized, dark clothing, such as blue jeans, dark t-shirt or polo shirt should be worn. Bring your personal toiletries, a change of underclothes, towel, and a plastic bag for wet clothes as well.

Baptisms happen almost every weekend. We will assist you on the day of your baptism. Changing facilities are located in our rest rooms in the Ministry Atrium. You will proceed across the hall into the Prayer Chapel, from which the baptism pool is accessed. You will be helped into the pool by one of our Pastors or deacons. Upon entering the water, once again you will be asked to publicly declare your commitment to Jesus Christ. You will also be given an opportunity to share how Christ has changed and is changing your life, if you so desire.