What is Baptism? (Part 1 of 3)

On November 9th, we are celebrating baptism following our second gathering. Baptism is common practice of any evangelical New Testament church. Questions naturally arise from people who visit with us or attend our church about baptism. We thought it would be profitable way to serve people through providing an understanding on what the Bible teaches and our church’s stance on baptism.

What is Baptism?

Baptism is the outward expression of an inward change of the heart. Baptism is the celebration of an individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atonement work, thus becoming a disciple of Jesus. Baptism is an act of obedience, according to Christ’s command to the disciples prior to ascension. Additionally, baptism serves as a testimony to God, the church, and the world. Baptism is reality of the Gospel’s personal impact on you and a sermon your life preaches to the world.

How should it be done?

"The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized." - Mark 10:39

“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.” - Matthew 28:19

There are many different positions on the method of baptism. Historically, differing views on the method of baptism has seen extreme measures taken, such as people being killed, but at The District Church we take a Biblical position according to the New Testament teaching that baptism through full immersion. The New Testament repeatedly teaches believers should be fully immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are several reasons we believe in full immersion water baptism:

  • The Greek word βαπτίζω (baptizo) literally means to plunge, submerge or immerse.
  • Jesus’ baptism from Matthew 3:13-17 says, “Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water,” which clearly infers Jesus was fully immersed.
  • Ethiopia Eunuch baptism by Philip in Acts 8. Again, the text clearly teaches baptism as full immersion. “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” - Acts 8:38 

Jeth Looney
Associate Minister/Church Planting Apprentice

* Look for the next 2 installments of our talk on baptism next week!