The experience of water baptism is one of the most treasured times in any believer’s life. It’s a public celebration of your decision to follow Jesus Christ and honor Him as Lord & Savior of your life.
1. What is baptism?
Baptism literally means to be immersed in water. It is a physical act of conscious obedience – identifying yourself with Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Baptism symbolizes the death of your old self and your new life in Christ. It publicly declares your faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Who should get baptized?
Every follower of Christ. We believe baptism is an important step in faith and we make it a primary part of our life as a church family.
3. What if I was baptized as an infant or child?
We believe baptism is a conscious decision about your own personal faith. Often young children or infants are not aware of that decision—infant and child baptism is usually more about the faith of the parents than the faith of the child. Unless you were aware of that decision, you should be re-baptized.
4. Do I have to get baptized immediately after accepting Christ?
In the New Testament we see examples of people baptized immediately after accepting Christ and others who weren’t baptized until later (most notably the Apostle Paul). So it doesn’t have to happen right away, but it’s also not something to put off. If we’re followers of Christ then we should follow his example and be baptized.
5. Am I still a Christian if I don’t get baptized?
Yes. We are saved through faith in Jesus—His shed blood, death and resurrection—not through baptism. But baptism is an act of obedience and a declaration of our faith. As Christians we should follow Christ’s example and biblical command to be baptized.
6. Do I have to get baptized in a certain place or in a certain way?
No. The state of your heart is what matters, not the perceived holiness of the venue or water itself. At Victory Church we try to follow the example given in the New Testament, which is why we baptize by full immersion.
7. Can I get re-baptized?
Yes. There is no biblical prohibition against being baptized again. For many people it can be an important step in their spiritual growth. If you don’t think your previous baptism met the conditions we’ve described or you feel the need to rededicate your life to Christ, we encourage you to be re-baptized.
8. Will I be expected to live a sinless life after I get baptized?
No. None of us can ever live a sinless life and baptism doesn’t change that. We all struggle with sin and we all fail at times. What’s important is that we confess our sins, turn away from those wrong actions and move forward trusting that we’ve already been forgiven.
9. I’ve heard of baptism in the Holy Spirit. Is that the same as water baptism, or is that different?
Baptism in water and baptism in the Holy Spirit are two different things. Baptism in water is an act of obedience and public declaration of faith. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a spiritual empowerment, often accompanied by signs such as speaking in tongues. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is described in the New Testament in chapter two of the Book of Acts. If you want to learn more about baptism in the Holy Spirit you can speak with a small group leader, pastor, baptism coach or altar worker.