About Water Baptism
At River City Church, we believe that water baptism is the next step in your faith journey!
Water Baptism is a public declaration of a personal decision that you are a follower of Jesus and beginning a changed life in Him.
Baptism is an important step of obedience that shows others we have personally trusted Jesus for our salvation. Jesus was baptized when He was on the earth, and we do this to follow His example. When Christians are baptized, they are submerged under water to identify with the death and burial of Jesus and raised out of the water to identify with His resurrection.
Ready to be Baptized?
**We will provide you with a shirt to get baptized in. Please wear dark shorts and bring a towel.
Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means: “to immerse or dip under the water, to cleanse by submerging”. This word refers to permanent change.
- A symbolic representation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, illustrating that we are putting our sins to death and rising into a new life that can only be found in Jesus.
- An outward declaration of the inward changes in a believer’s life.
- An act of faith after salvation, and an act of obedience in response to Jesus’s command to follow His example and be baptized (Matt. 3:13-17).
- A public declaration of your commitment to Jesus and a public confession of your faith in Jesus. It connects us to the body of Christ and joins us with other believers.
By confirming our position in Christ, baptism also affirms the blessing of God in our life. When we affirm that we are His children, we receive the blessings of our Father (Eph. 1:3-5).
Baptism is not an act of salvation, because we are saved by faith in Jesus alone. However, baptism is an important step in a believer’s walk with Jesus. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave His disciples a list of instructions for how to proceed in finishing the work He began on earth. We call this the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).
It is impossible to follow Jesus and neglect baptism. It is an integral part of your faith journey. Baptism is the necessary step between the first moment of salvation and the life-long process of maturing in your faith and conforming to the image of Jesus.
As soon as you have made the decision to believe in Jesus and follow Him for the rest of your life, you are ready to be baptized! We encourage you to do so without delay. In the Bible, we see that new believers in the book of Acts were baptized immediately following salvation (Acts 10:34-48).
Therefore, you are ready to be baptized as soon as you understand the simplicity of what baptism means and are ready to declare that you want to follow Jesus forever.
Your baptism should have signified you becoming a follower of Jesus, beginning a changed life, and uniting with a new family. If your baptism did not reflect this change of life, then you should be baptized again.
Water baptism is a public declaration of three very important things:
You are a follower of Jesus Christ.
“Those who accepted his message were baptized.” —Acts 2:41a
You are beginning a changed life in Christ.
“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
You are part of a new family.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” —Galatians 3:26–27
We baptize by immersion because that is the method we see in the Bible when baptism takes place. The word used for baptism is the Greek word baptizo which has the following meanings: to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge, to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe.
There are only two requirements for baptism according to Scripture:
1. Belief in Christ
2. Repentance from sin
In short, only a believer in Jesus Christ—someone who has turned from disobedience to God and surrendered his or her life to Jesus as Lord and Savior—can rightfully be baptized declaring the work of the Lord in transforming his or her life.
Every child can have a personal relationship with Jesus, and in City Kids we encourage them to make a decision to follow Him. Our children are encouraged to not just learn about Jesus, but learn from Him by walking with Him every day.
We advise parents to wait until their child is asking to be water baptized. This is usually a good indication that they are ready to be baptized and that it will be a spiritual milestone in their life.
We absolutely believe that younger children can have a relationship with Jesus, however, we desire to make sure your child understands the significance of baptism and will remember the beauty of the event. If you have any hesitation regarding your child’s preparedness for baptism, we would love to discuss this with you.
As you discern if your child is ready to be water baptized, here are some questions to ask your child. The following answers show that your child understands.
1. WHO IS JESUS?
Your child should have an understanding of who Jesus is in their life. They should be able to pinpoint a time that they made the decision to make Jesus Lord of their life and follow him.
2. WHAT HAS JESUS DONE FOR YOU?
Your child should have a specific memory of when he or she understood what Jesus did, and that he or she needs Jesus in their life. It may have been at church, at home, or even during a time when they were alone. They should be able to give a reason or an example of why they want to follow Jesus.
3. WHY DO YOU WANT TO BE WATER BAPTIZED?
Because Jesus was baptized and he tells us to be baptized also. Because I’m a friend of Jesus and I want to follow Him. It means I’m a Christian and I want to show the world. It’s a picture of what Jesus has done on the inside of me.
Throughout the New Testament, the Bible teaches that baptism is a public expression of worship symbolizing the new life we have when we follow Jesus. In the Bible we see that Jesus’ parents dedicated him to the Lord (Luke 2:22–40), and he was later baptized as an adult (Matthew 3:16–17).
We understand that some churches practice “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a commitment 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 or her own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed and is different from the biblical examples of new believers being baptized to publicly profess their faith in Jesus.