Let's talk about some of the big questions that can come up in regard to water baptism.
What is water baptism, and who's it for?
Baptism literally means “to be immersed.” Water baptism is a physical act of obedience by which a person identifies with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. When a person is baptized, he or she is publicly declaring faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It symbolizes the death of his or her old self and resurrection to a new life in Christ! Scripture tells us that every follower of Christ should get baptized.
What if I got baptized as an infant or child?
Unless you consciously submitted yourself to God and were aware of the significance of baptism and the statement you were making at the time you were baptized, you should be re-baptized. Infant and child baptism usually has more to do with the faith of the parents than that of the child.
Do I have to get baptized right away?
In the New Testament, many people were baptized immediately after accepting Christ, but there are some examples of believers who weren’t baptized until a while later (most notably the Apostle Paul). Still, baptism is not something to be put off indefinitely. As followers of Jesus, we want to follow His example and get baptized as soon as possible.
Am I still a Christian if I don’t get baptized?
Absolutely! We are saved through faith in Jesus—His shed blood, death and resurrection—not through baptism. However, it is an act of obedience and a declaration of trust that flows out of God’s work of salvation in our hearts. Again, as believers and followers of Christ, we will follow his example and biblical command by getting baptized.
Do I have to get baptized in a certain place or in a certain way?
Whether you get baptized in a formal church baptistery (as we have in our services), in a lake, stream, ocean, hot tub or water trough, the state of your heart is what determines the validity of your baptism, not the perceived holiness of the venue or the water itself. The condition of your heart is what’s important! In Victory’s baptisms, we seek to follow the examples we are given in the New Testament. That is why we baptize by fully immersing individuals in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and, specifically, in Jesus’ name.
Can I get re-baptized?
Certainly! There is no biblical prohibition against being re-baptized and doing so may be an important step in your spiritual growth. If you do not feel the above-mentioned criteria were met in your previous baptism; or, if at some point since being baptized you have fallen away from faith in God and would like to re-declare your trust and submission to Him; or, if you feel like you have entered or are entering a new period in your life and would like to express your commitment to God’s will and submission of your own will, then we encourage and invite you to get re-baptized!
Will I be expected to live a sinless life after I get baptized?
Only Jesus lived a life without sin. In our human nature, we all struggle with sin from time to time, and we all fail at times. The key is that when we do sin, we confess it, repent of it, humbly get back up, and go on trusting that Jesus’ blood has already cleansed us from all sin.
I’ve heard of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Is that the same?
Baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit are not the same. Baptism in water is what is described in this booklet. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is what is first described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts in the New Testament. It is a spiritual empowerment to live the life to which God has called us and is accompanied by signs, such as speaking in other tongues, and the impartation of spiritual gifts. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is another essential aspect of a believer’s life. Biblical references include: Acts 1:8, 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6, and Matthew 3:1. If you would like to know more about it, we encourage you to speak with a pastor, small group leader or member of the Prayer Team. They will be glad to answer your questions, point you in the right direction, and pray with you to receive this baptism if you would like.
You were made for something great!
You were made for something great. Yes, YOU. God is leading us on a new journey, and we want to invite you to come along with us! God created you in His own image to reflect His glory in the earth. Before He knit you together in your mother’s womb, He had God-sized plans for your life. We’re rediscovering what it means to freely and boldly live in the unique purpose He placed on us from the very beginning. Something great is calling … will you answer?Learn More