Baptism

Our next baptism service is on: May 22nd at 12:30pm

What is believer's baptism?

At Community Celebration Church, we believe that baptism is an ordinance of the church and an outward ceremony commanded by Jesus Christ to symbolize our personal commitment to Him. (This is different than a "sacrament," which indicates God is doing something special to the individual who participates, regardless of their attitude.) Believer's baptism is an event where someone makes a public statement of their complete trust in Jesus by being fully immersed in water as an outward sign of the inward dedication to Christ.

What is symbolized in baptism?

CCC believes that baptism is a public proclamation of an individual's personal commitment to Jesus - the spiritual relationship that exists between the person and God through Jesus Christ. Romans 6:3-4 reminds us that all believers have died to their old way of life and  have been resurrected as a new creation in Jesus Christ.
 
Baptism symbolizes the moral cleansing that takes place in a believer's life through Jesus Christ, as we read in Acts 22:16 and 1 Corinthians 16:11. Baptism is an act of initiation into the Body of Christ, which we learn from 1 Corinthians 12:13.

Baptism does not save you. It is a symbol of the transformation that has already taken place. When verses talk about baptism saving you (as in 1 Peter 3:21), they are referring to what baptism symbolizes - a connection to Jesus Christ. He has separated us from our past and given us a new life through His death and resurrection. We are declared clean by faith alone, as we read in Romans 4:1 - 5:2.

Why be baptized?

If baptism has no saving power then why do we do it? We think there are at least four reasons for us to be baptized as believers:

  1. Jesus was baptized and instructed all of His followers to believe and baptize in His name, so baptisms are done out of obedience to Him.
  2. Baptism makes our commitment a public decision. It shows everyone else your commitment to let Jesus forgive your sins and guide your life. This is why we make our baptisms as public as possible.
  3. Baptism is the point at which a person is formally connected to the body of Christ, the church. It is at this time that a person publicly announces that they are part of the church. See Ephesians 4:1-6.
  4. Baptism is the celebration when the entire church celebrates and commits themselves to encourage, build up and strengthen the person being baptized. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.

Jesus even modeled his obedience to baptism in Matthew 3:13-17. Peter teaches about baptism as the response to the gospel in Acts 2:38; the Apostle Paul also teaches this in Acts 22:16. Baptism is a foundational act of obedience to Jesus' teaching.

Who should be baptized?

Since baptism is an expression of each person's faith commitment to Jesus Christ, CCC baptizes people who have already made that commitment. This was the normal practice throughout the New Testament. People started their relationship with Jesus by confessing their sin and committing themselves to follow His instructions, and then were baptized to celebrate and initiate that relationship. Jesus clearly gave us this picture when He gave instructions to the disciples in Matthew 28:19, "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

What about infant baptism?

There is no mention of babies being baptized in the Bible. Sometimes people claimed the "household" passages supported this view. However, none of these passages mentioned children or babies being baptized. Infant baptism is meaningful to the parents but they cannot choose to save their children from sin. Each person must make that decision for themselves.

When is baptism done?

CCC regularly schedules baptisms. Please check our calendar to see when the next one is scheduled. As soon as the person takes the commitment to turn from their sin and follow Jesus we want to celebrate the commitment with them in baptism. Not only does baptism allow a believer to obey Jesus, but it allows us to celebrate their new life with them.

There is no age limit for those who want to be baptized, however the adult or child being baptized needs to have a good understanding of what it represents. If you have never been baptized as a believer, pray about this step of faith and ask God to help you sort through your thoughts and feelings. Feel free to talk with us about any questions or hesitations you might have.

How is baptism done?

The word we use (baptism) comes from the Greek word (pronounced bap-tid-zo). The Greek definition of this word was to dunk, dip, or submerse. This word was usually used by people who dyed cloth. When they wanted to color clothes they would "baptize" the cloth in dye. There were other words that meant to sprinkle or pour.

According to the information available, the first sprinkling was in 250 A.D. (Over 200 years after Jesus.) The person baptized was close to death, bed ridden, and wanted to be baptized before passing away. Then in 1311 A.D . the Catholic Church began accepting sprinkling as a mode of baptism along with immersion. Over time it has become the primary mode of baptism for a variety of denominations.

Our desire at CCC is to obey every instruction of Jesus as precisely as possible, therefore we choose to baptize people in the same way that Jesus and His disciples practiced and instructed.

Baptism by immersion (going under the water and coming back up again) vividly portrays what is happening in the life of the believer. The person is dying to their old sinful way of life (going under the water) and being raised to a new life (coming back up out of the water), just as the Apostle Paul describes in Romans 6:3-4.

Baptism Signup Form

The Bible says that all professing Christians should be baptized (Matthew 28:18-20). Whether you've been following Jesus for a long time and never got baptized or are a new Christian, we would be honored to baptize you!