Baptism at Ada Bible Church
Baptism is both an important aspect of life at Ada Bible Church and a significant part of your spiritual journey as you follow Jesus. Why? Because baptism is a ceremony which symbolizes the spiritual cleansing that has taken place in your life when you placed your faith and trust in Christ. It provides you an opportunity to publicly declare that you have believed in Jesus and have experienced God’s forgiveness of your sins.
Baptism is also a great time for the church to celebrate the change God has brought about in your life.
Ceremonial washing was prevalent in Jewish culture in the Old Testament, but the practice of baptism begins to show up in the New Testament. John the Baptist, a prophet who foretold the coming of Jesus the Messiah, baptized both Jews and non-Jews as a symbol of their repentance and desire to follow God with their lives.
John also baptized Jesus, which began Jesus’ public ministry. Unlike us, Jesus was not baptized because of his need for repentance; he was baptized to signify that he intentionally identified himself with repentant sinners and to demonstrate his full humility.
Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus gave his disciples some final instructions. This passage is known as the Great Commission.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28.18-20).
As followers of Jesus, these commands are for us as well. Of all the things we can, and should, be doing, Jesus wanted to make sure that baptism was at the top of the list.
Baptism is one of the most powerful symbols of our faith. In a way that nothing else does, baptism:
- Is a vital part of the life of every Christian. Baptism is a physical experience that corresponds to your spiritual encounter with Christ. It is an outward symbol of an inner experience of grace.
- Is a step of obedience. This is a simple point, but an important one. We are saved by grace through faith. Baptism is an expression of that faith (not a way to be saved). Since Jesus clearly commanded it, baptism is the next step of obedience once a person has surrendered their life to God. Ephesians 2.8
- Symbolizes your new life in Christ. In the beginning, water was a symbol of chaos (Genesis 1.2). Out of this chaos, God brings order. He creates life. The same is true for us. God takes the chaos of our lives without him and transforms them to new lives with him. Baptism pictures this amazing transformation. Being lowered into the water (chaos) symbolizes dying to your old life without God. Being raised out of the water symbolizes coming to new life in Christ. Romans 6.3-4; 2 Corinthians 5.17
- Symbolizes your good standing with God. As a believer, you have full assurance that you are saved by grace through faith. Baptism is a symbol of that truth. As you experience baptism, let that truth sink deeply into your heart. You have been reconciled with God. You are now his son or daughter! 1 Peter 3.21; Romans 8.16
- Symbolizes the washing away of your sins. This is why we completely immerse you in the water. This act symbolizes the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection are sufficient to completely wash you free from punishment for sin. Psalm 51.7; Acts 22.16
- Is a public declaration of who is the leader of your life. You will be declaring to your family and friends, with certainty, that Jesus is the new leader of your life. Because he is your leader, Savior, and Lord, you are committing yourself to doing everything Jesus has commanded you from this day forward. You won’t be perfect, but you are seeking to follow him in everything. Galatians 3.27; John 14.15
- Becomes a tangible reminder of the significance of your faith. You will stand before others giving witness that your life is now marked by Christ. You stand with him and for him. Your life belongs to him and you desire to declare this new reality. As you follow Christ, we encourage you to look back on this day and remember the commitment you made, the people who heard it (more than you might think; read Hebrews 12.1!), and all that baptism represents. This can be a great help when you doubt your salvation or struggle to obey Christ. Hebrews 10.22; 1 Corinthians 6.11
- Connects you to the larger family of God. For some 2,000 years, believers all around the world have pursued baptism as a symbol of their new life with God. What you experience through baptism is rooted in the early church and connects you to that rich history. Acts 2.41
More questions about baptism? Check out our FAQs.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions you may have.Click here to register to be baptized