What About Baptism?

Baptism is a beautiful ceremony. It is an ancient practice of the apostles and the New Testament church. Jesus was baptized as an example for us, and we are excited at First Christian Church to continue this 2,000-year-old commandment. We know that there are many questions related to baptism. If you are at the place where you would like to be baptized, or just talk further please contact us by calling the church office at 803-943-3050 or email us.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baptism

1. WHY DOES YOUR CHURCH BAPTIZE?

  • It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection. "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Corinthians 15:3-4).  "...Having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).
  • It is where you die to the old person you were and begin your new life as a Christian. "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come" (2 Corinthians 5:17). "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).
  • Baptism, along with faith, repentance, and confession of Christ, saves you. "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.  Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21).
  • Baptism is the point at which the believer contacts the blood of Christ. "But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3).
  • It is clear from these Scriptures that the blood that poured from Jesus' body when He died on Calvary becomes our means of salvation when we are baptized.

2. WHY DOES YOUR CHURCH BAPTIZE BY IMMERSION?

  • Because Jesus was baptized that way.  "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him" (Matthew 3:16).
  • Every case of conversion in the New Testament was followed baptism by immersion. "And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:38-39).  (See also Acts 9:17-19; 10:45-48; 11:1-4, 15-18; 16:13-15, 29-34; 18:7-8; 19:1-4)
  • The word translated "baptism" means immersion. "...to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk); ...to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water; "...to wash one's self, bathe; "...to overwhelm."
  • "The clearest example that shows the meaning of βαπτιζω is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped' (βαπτω) into boiling water and then 'baptized' (βαπτιζω) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. 'He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.' Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with Him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!" (Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.  Found in Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon entry for βαπτιζω." The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon.  1999.) Click here for full entry.

3. WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?

  • Every person who has believed in Christ. See the list of Scriptures in Acts listed above.
  • At First Christian Church, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the meaning of baptism before we baptize them. 
  • 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 New Testament which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to wash away your sins, impart the Holy Spirit to you, and seal the New Covenant you have with God.

4. WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

  • As soon as you have believed in Jesus, repented of your sins, and confessed Jesus as Lord. "Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.  As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?'  And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'  And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him" (Acts 8:35-38).
  • There is no reason to wait. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you may and should be baptized. If you wait until you are "perfect", you’ll never be "good enough!"  The point of baptism is that we aren't good enough and need the blood of Christ to cleanse us from our sins.

5. CAN MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS BE BAPTIZED TOGETHER?

  • Certainly! If each person 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 or group tradition. It is not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on others to join you. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.

6.  WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?

  • Women should wear shorts and a top or a swimsuit.
  • Men may wear shorts, t-shirts or a swimsuit.
  • Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet clothes. 
  • Make sure your clothes are modest and do not detract from the ceremony.

7.  WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?

  • No, you won’t have to say anything. The minister will speak and baptize you.