We were not created to go through life alone. Being connected with a local church is part of God's plan for our lives. These 'next steps' help describe the process of connecting with our local church family.
The next step is believer’s baptism.
We want to make sure that you understand the meaning of baptism and know how to prepare for this special time.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
Baptism is a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is a visual picture that we have died to an old way of life without Jesus and are alive to a new life in Christ, giving us the hope and promise of eternal life in Him. It identifies us with Christ and with His body, the church (Romans 6:3-9 and Ephesians 4:4-6). The Bible gives account in the book of Acts when the believers were baptized. Again, the first baptisms on record are in the book of Acts and took place with the local body of believers. The church family celebrated them together, and this ties us to Christians of all times all over the world!
WHO IS BAPTISM FOR?
Baptism is for believers in Christ. Salvation is by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Belief in Jesus Christ is what makes you a believer, not baptism. Baptism is for believers AFTER they have put their faith in Christ. In the book of Acts, every person baptized did so after he/she believed.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
Baptism is obedience to the Bible. Baptism is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament. Jesus Himself was baptized as an example for us (Matthew 3:16-19) and He commands all believers to be baptized (Matthew 28:19).
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT I BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
Believer’s baptism by immersion was the method used in the early church as described in the Bible. Through descriptions such as “plenty of water” (John 3:23), “came up out of the water” (Mark 1:10), “went down…came up out of” (Acts 8:36) and others, it is clear that immersion was the practice. In addition to the examples and the symbolism (described above), the word baptism (Greek language) means to immerse. If you have been baptized by another method, we do not discount or diminish the importance that event in your life. However we value immersion at WHCC and believe that your being baptized by immersion prior to joining our church is valuable for you as a part of this church family.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT INFANT/CHILD BAPTISM?
In some churches, infant christening or infant baptism is practiced. Though many times this represents a decision by parents to raise their children to know and follow God, it is important to note that it does not demonstrate the infant’s or child’s own personal belief. It is also important to know that if you were christened or “baptized” as a baby that does not make you a Christian. While we recognize the heart and intent of infant baptism or christening, we understand from the Bible that only professing believers in Christ qualify for baptism. We recognize the desire of parents to commit to raise their children to know God, and we want to partner with parents in doing so. For that reason, we practice “Parent/Child Dedication” as a celebration and milestone for parents and families, as well as for our church family.