We're so excited about your decision!
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re interested in getting baptized; or, at the very least, you’re curious about baptism. Either way, we’re glad you’re here! In this booklet, we hope to answer any questions you may have like, “What is baptism? Why do we do it?” You will also find FAQs and a guide to getting baptized here at Victory Church. We’re so excited that you’re considering this important step in your walk with Jesus. We want to make this step an easy one! We'll cover the following here: What Is Baptism?, Are You Ready?, Next Steps, and FAQs
What is water baptism?
Baptism is the next step in your spiritual journey once you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If you’ve never been baptized, or if you’re like a lot of people who were baptized or christened as an infant, then we encourage you to get baptized again. In either case, you may be wondering, “Why?” That’s a good question!
Origin and Meaning
We believe you need to first understand the origin and true meaning of water baptism. While the early church kept this sacred practice, its significance was altered and greatly diminished over time—to the point that, in today’s culture, it has nearly been lost completely. However, we believe that it is still vital to us today.
Very early in the Gospels, before Jesus’ ministry began, we read about John the Baptist, who earned his name when he began baptizing other individuals in the Jordan River. While preaching a message of repentance and turning back to God, he invited his followers to be baptized in water to signify and physically demonstrate that they were humbling themselves, washing away their old lifestyle, and accepting the message that John preached.
Then we read that Jesus Himself was baptized by John! Jesus made a public demonstration and declaration of His intent to follow the Father. As He was getting baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon Him, and the Father publicly affirmed Him as His own Son, even expressing His pleasure in His Son’s obedience. It was only after this moment that we began to see Jesus teaching with authority and performing miracles.
In His last moments with His disciples, Jesus encouraged them to continue the practice of baptism (Matthew 28:18-19), which signified the importance of every believer to submit to water baptism. It still stands as a line of demarcation, particularly for the new believer, between the old and the new. As a public demonstration and declaration of an individual’s faith in Jesus and his or her desire to follow Him, baptism is still meaningful and pleasing to the Father today!
The decision to get baptized should be made consciously after you have received salvation and been “born again” by making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. This is why we encourage those who have been baptized or christened as infants to be re-baptized after consciously accepting Christ.
Also, you don’t have to be perfect to get baptized! Water baptism is not a claim to perfection, nor will it make you perfect. Rather, it is a statement of faith, submission and willingness to allow Jesus to perfect us. Sometimes we have experiences that allow us to look back and say, “Ever since then, things have changed.” Can you recall a landmark point in your life? Getting baptized in water can be one of those moments for you, just as it was in Jesus’ life.
People who have been baptized often recall the sense of going down with the old and coming up with the new, remembering what it meant in their heart as they stood there and told what God had done for them and who Jesus is in their life. They recall feeling the forgiveness of God over them as they went down and seeing themselves as a new person when they came back up. It’s often one of the defining moments in a person’s walk with Him.
If you haven’t been baptized since committing your life to Christ, we believe there is no better time than now. It doesn’t matter how long you have been saved! Consider these examples:
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” ACTS 2:38, 41 NIV
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “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 household were baptized. ACTS 16:29-33 NIV
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. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized. ACTS 8:35-38 NIV
Let us ask you the same question: “Why shouldn’t you be baptized?” It’s time to go all in, to publicly declare, “I want to put my old way of living aside so that Jesus can live through me.”
If you have previously been baptized in some form or another, please keep in mind that baptism should be done:
+ By immersion in water
+ By those who have made a conscious decision to submit their lives to Jesus
+ By those who understand the statement they’re making
If all three of these elements weren’t present when you were baptized, we believe you should be baptized again.