"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."
What Is Baptism?
Baptism is an ordinance or outward rite which "Christ has appointed to be administered in His Church as a visible sign of the saving truth of the Gospel." In other words, baptism is an outward expression of our inward confession of Jesus Christ as Lord. In essence, it is a profession of our faith.
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." Romans 10:9-10
What Is the Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism is a symbol of one's union by faith with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection.
"Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?...we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.... For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him.The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God.In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:3, 5, 9-11
Who Should Be Baptized?
The early church obeyed the Lord's command (Matthew 28:19-20). Jews were baptized (Acts 2:41-42); Samaritans were baptized (Acts 8:12); Gentiles were baptized (Acts 10:44-48); Paul was baptized (Acts 9:18); Lydia was baptized (Acts 16:14-15), to name only a few. In all cases, belief in Christ and His finished work on Calvary preceded baptism.
"But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12
When Should We Be Baptized?
There is no reason to delay. As soon as an individual has put his faith in Christ and evidences an authentic change in life-style, he should publicly identify with Christ in water baptism.
As part of this evidence, the Brookside leadership has asked that all candidates for baptism be a minimum of 12 years of age.
"Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." Acts 8:35-38
"'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved— you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized." Acts 16:30-33
How Should We Be Baptized?
We believe in water baptism by immersion for the following reasons:
The meaning of the original word "baptizo" is to immerse, to dip, to sink, to submerge, to plunge. Every passage where the word occurs in the New Testament either requires or allows the meaning "immerse." Matthew 3:6, 11; Mark 1:5, 9; Acts 2:41, 16:29-33.You will find the use of the prepositions "into" and "in" used with the verb "baptize" but not the preposition "upon." "Into" speaks of the element (water) into which the person passes. "In" speaks of the element (water) in which the baptizing takes place.Circumstances strongly indicate that there was always sufficient water on hand to permit immersion to be practiced. Mark 1:10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39.
Church history supports immersion. Martin Luther said, "I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imparts and the mystery signifies." John Wesley concurred, "Buried with Him, alluding to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church."
However, in extreme cases where candidates for baptism cannot be immersed because of some physical infirmity, sickness, or handicap, the ordinance may be administered either by pouring or sprinkling. It is the heart attitude of the candidate that is more important than the mode of baptism.
Why Should We Be Baptized?
We obey the Lord in water baptism to follow the example of Jesus Christ, "Jesus...was baptized by John in the Jordan."(Mark 1:9-11); to heed the instructions of Christ, "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); and to evidence in an outward manner that we identify with Christ in His death and in His life, "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Romans 6:4) Our loyalty and obedience to Christ and His Word confirm our commitment to Him. (1 John 2:3)
Steps Before Baptism
Prior to the day of baptism each candidate meets with an Elder or Pastor to give his or her testimony.