Water baptism was established by Christ in connection with His Great Commission to the apostles (Matthew 28:19). He said that new disciples were to be baptized in the name of the Triune God. The Christian and Missionary Alliance believes Jesus meant this to be a permanent practice called an ordinance, and it’s churches encourage water baptism.
What Does Baptism Mean?
In Romans 6:3-4, Paul writes, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.”
Christian baptism is a testimony of repentance and faith in Christ which also depicts the Gospel – His death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection. Immersion in the baptismal waters symbolizes the end of the old way of life. Coming up out of the baptismal waters pictures the new life found in Christ. The person who was previously dead in sin has been made spiritually alive by the same power that raised up Jesus from the grave. Water baptism identifies a person as a disciple of Christ and celebrates the passage from an old life into a new life in Christ. Simply stated, it is an outward sign, a public declaration of an inward change.
Baptism is not required to received God’s salvation. However, all who have trusted Christ for salvation are encouraged to follow Him in baptism as a step of obedience.
Who Should Be Baptized?
Baptism followed repentance and faith in New Testament times. Peter invited his listeners on the Day of Pentecost to “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgive” (Acts 2:38). Alliance churches follow the same practice subsequent to conversion to Christ. Those who have repented of sin and put their faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life are encouraged to follow His example.
Through the Bible does not state a minimum age at which a person may be baptized, an individual believer should be old enough to understand the significance of baptism.
People who have been baptized as believers before affiliating with an Alliance church do not need to be re-baptized.
What About Infant Baptism?
Because we believe that faith comes to a child through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we choose to dedicate our children rather than practice infant baptism. While we understand that many people were baptized as infants, this does not preclude a person from choosing to be baptized again when then come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
How Should You Be Baptized?
In the original language, the word used in the Bible for “baptize” means “immerse, douse, or saturate.” In the tow full descriptions of baptism found in the New Testament, individuals were immersed in water. Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-11), and the apostle Philip baptized the Ethiopian by going down into a body of water and coming up with him (Act 8:36-39). Because of the meaning of the word baptize and the example of the first baptisms, Christian and Missionary Alliance churches practice baptism by immersion.
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