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Baptism

When we read the New Testament, we encounter two ordinances or practices of the Church. These two ordinances, baptism and communion, are integral components of worship for the Christian. However, it is quickly understood that there are different perspectives on these practices. For the sake of this article, we’ll focus on baptism.

 

There are two basic viewpoints around baptism…paedo and credo. Paedobaptism is the practice of baptizing infants in hopes of future salvation and/or protection.  For paedobaptists, the purpose of baptism is to publicly signify that the child will be raised to be a Christian. It is a public declaration that the family are believers and a promise of salvation. Credobaptism is the practice of baptizing those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ; often this can be referred to as believers’ baptism. For credobaptists, the purpose of baptism is to publicly identify with Christ and to demonstrate the work that Christ has already done inside of our hearts.    


Within these two views, there are different methods of baptism. This is important information, but we must consult the Scriptures not tradition to form our understanding. 


In Matthew 3:13-17, we find the record of Jesus’s baptism. This should quickly lead us to the understanding that baptism does NOT save an individual or complete one’s salvation. Jesus is the Son of God who came to live a sinless life, which means He didn’t need to be saved. Through his baptism, we see the practice of full immersion. Full immersion is the method of baptism that is found throughout the Scriptures. Many of us know the method of sprinkling for baptism. Obviously, this is the method used for infants, but it can also be used with adults. Sprinkling was introduced as an accepted method in the 16th century partly because some Reformers believed the mode of baptism to be theologically indifferent. 


At Restoration Church, we hold to the conviction that baptism should take place in this way: 

  • Only believers (those who have professed Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior) regardless of age should be baptized. 

  • The believer should be FULLY immersed in the water* signifying the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

  • The believer is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as written in Matthew 28:19 

We, Restoration Church, believe baptism is a step of obedience in our faith in which we publicly identify as followers of Jesus Christ. Again, this is NOT something that completes salvation; it is an outward picture of the inward change that has taken place within us. 


If you have trusted in Jesus as your Lord & Savior, but have not been baptized publicly as a believer, I would encourage you to contact one of our Elders to seek guidance in this area of your Christian walk. 


*We understand that there could possibly be physical restrictions that would prevent someone from being fully immersed. In those situations, we would trust the Lord’s guidance. 

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