Baptism: what, why, when?
As a Baptist church we hold firmly to what we see as the Scriptural command for those who come to faith in Christ to express that, publicly, in baptism.
We do not practice infant baptism, but encourage parents to take the opportunity at a Sunday service to give thanks to the Lord for their baby, to dedicate themselves to Christian parenthood, and request the prayerful support of the church in that role.
Baptism is linking with Jesus.
Jesus got baptised in the river Jordan to identify with us. At the end of His time on earth He commanded His disciples to baptise others. We get baptised because of our desire to follow Jesus’ example and to do what He wants us to do. It is the way that we show our faith and commitment to Him.
Baptism is part of becoming a Christian.
Paul describes in Romans 6:1-10 how Baptism is symbolic of dying and being raised to new life in Jesus. Likewise Peter explains to the crowd in Acts 2 how they needed to repent and be baptised. It is a sign of belonging to God’s people and of becoming part of God’s church – of being united to Jesus.
Baptism is a way the Holy Spirit works in you.
In several places in the Bible baptism is linked with the way God’s Spirit works in our lives. Often baptism is an occasion when people experience God working in their lives in a new and fresh way.
So why get baptised?
We get baptised because we want to follow Jesus and commit ourselves to Him. But we also get baptised because we want to be part of His body on earth, a member of His church. For us, as for Christians throughout history, we get baptised because we want to confess our faith that Jesus is Lord.
If you haven’t been baptised perhaps now is the time to consider it. Why not have a chat with Richard or one of the Elders about it?
We affirm that every person who has repented and put their faith in Christ Jesus and made a confirmation of that by a public expression, normally through baptism, is a member of the worldwide church. However, we believe that, according to Scripture, each person should play their part in the local church and we therefore encourage those who attend Hawkwell Baptist Church to express their commitment to the church by becoming members. This gives the person a full part in the discussion and prayer regarding the life of the church, especially in the Church Meetings.