Here you'll find some information on baptism at Real Life. Although every question may not be answered on this page, those most commonly asked will be addressed and answered from God's Word.
If you have any other questions about baptism or if you'd like to be baptized then please click here.
What is Baptism?
Simply, baptism is a public symbol of an inward commitment to God. When a person admits that he or she is a sinner and turns to Christ for salvation, the Bible says that a person should tell everyone that their life has been changed.
"Christ" is one of Jesus' many titles. It means "Anointed One" or in Hebrew it is transliterated "Messiah". It is a name for Jesus that talks about Him being the anticipated one from the beginning as well as the only one who can bring salvation today. (see: Matthew 16:13-20)
In Acts 8:34-38, we see the account of the Ethiopian eunuch committing his life to Jesus and immediately being baptized. It has always been a public way of showing that you have made a decision to become a Christ-follower.
A "Christ-follower" is someone who has concluded that Jesus' death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. They have decided to accept God’s free gift of salvation and let Him change their life.
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands his followers to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Baptism is how followers of Christ are identified. When we make the decision to accept Christ, the Bible says we should be baptized as a symbol of that commitment. There is no magic in the water. It doesn't save you. Much like the wearing of a wedding ring is a symbol of an inward commitment to your spouse, being baptized symbolizes publicly the inward commitment you've made to follow Christ.
In Matthew 3:13-17, Jesus was baptized as he began his earthly ministry. Throughout the New Testament, in passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47-48, we see that each time someone made a commitment to follow Christ, they were immediately baptized.
Baptism also symbolizes your new life in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that when we receive God's gift of salvation, we have new life in Christ, all old things have been washed away, all things are new! Romans 6:3-10, and Colossians 2:12, show us how baptism identifies us with the death and resurrection of Christ. When a person goes under the water, it illustrates death to their old life, and the death of Christ. As they come up from the water, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is represented, which also symbolized new life in Christ. This is why, as Christ followers, we believe that baptism is best symbolized by total immersion.
What about infant baptism?
Each time someone was baptized in the New Testament, they did so following a conscience decision to give their life to Christ. Rather than baptize infants, when a child is born, we often have a dedication service for the family. In the service, parents dedicate themselves to raising their children in a way that will honor God, and to teaching their children about the gift of salvation through Christ so that their children will have the opportunity to give their lives to Christ at the earliest possible moment. We also ask the Real Life community to help those parents by coming along side them through prayer and support.
When an older child makes this commitment, we strongly encourage parents to not only be in the pool with their child, but to participate in that child's baptism.
It's important to know that you do not need to be baptized to have Christ in your heart. Baptism is, however, a natural second step in obedience to Christ and we want to help you take this important step to publicly declare outwardly what God has done inwardly. If you have any further questions, please email us and one of our pastors would love to chat with you about it!