In those days Jesus came from Nazareth to be baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
Our next Baptism Sunday is coming up Sunday, December 15. If you are interested in baptism as a next step in your faith journey or you would simply like to learn more about baptism, click the link below to let us know!
MARKING A NEW BEGINNING
The first public act of Jesus was his baptism. Since baptism was connected to forgiveness and purity, the man who baptized Jesus was a bit confused. He protested, saying, "I need to be baptized by you." (Matthew 3:14) But Jesus was not there for forgiveness; he was there to begin what God had sent him to do. His baptism was an announcement that his mission was beginning. In this we find both example and meaning.
In his baptism, Jesus set an example for all who would follow him. He would instruct his own disciples to baptize others, saying, "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." (Matthew 28:19) In the Book of Acts, the earliest historical document we have that outlines the life of the first-century church, we see that in every story of someone who chose to follow the ways of Jesus that baptism was a part of that decision. Jesus' disciples took his instructions to heart making baptism a central act in following Christ. But what does it mean?
In his letter to the Roman church the Apostle Paul wrote these words about baptism: "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in a newness of life." (Romans 6:4) This is the first time in the New Testament we read about what baptism means. With the language of death, burial, and resurrection attached to it, Paul points out how baptism marks the ending of an old way of life and the beginning of living a whole new way.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Anyone who is a follower of Jesus.
How Does Atlanta Christian Church Perform Baptisms?
We practice baptism by immersion in water symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
When Should A Person Be Baptized?
Since baptism marks the beginning of a new life in Jesus, it should be a part of that new beginning. If someone has been a believer in Jesus for any length of time but has not been baptized, we encourage that person to consider baptism as part of their commitment to the Christian life.
Do You Baptize Infants?
The Bible gives no instructions about or examples of infant baptism, so it is not a current practice of our church. Baptism is so deeply tied to a person's willful decision to follow Jesus that it is premature for a newborn. However, it is important for families to raise their children towards that decision and to create a family environment where spiritual seeking and discovery are encouraged. As a way of partnering with parents in this, we host Baby Dedications to celebrate newborns and also to encourage families in their calling to teach their children to love and serve God in the world.
For more information on Baby Dedication, contact Lindsey Self
What If A Person Wishes To Be Baptized Again?
The Bible implies that baptism is a one-time experience for the follower of Jesus. Re-baptism is something we do, however, when a person lacks confidence in their initial baptism experience. This could be because they were baptized as an infant or they were coerced or they feel their heart and mind were not in the right place at that time.
Pictured: John the Baptist, by Jesus Mafa (1973)