Your next steps:
1. Fill out a connection card at any of the weekend services, or contact Michaela Brooks-Appelhof at 403-873-5240 to express your interest in being baptized.
2. Attend a baptism class. These classes are usually offered on the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at our Evergreen campus.
3. Meet with one of our pastors and one of our church elders to share your journey with Jesus Christ and your desire to be baptized.
4. Prepare a small written paragraph explaining you have come to be baptized, which will be videotaped and shared with the congregation when you are baptized.
5. Invite your friends and family to attend the service you will be baptized at so you can express to them your love for Jesus.
UPCOMING BAPTISM CLASS: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 7:00 pm at Evergreen
UPCOMING BAPTISM WEEKEND: April 20/21, 2013
UPCOMING BAPTISM CLASS: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 7:00 pm at Evergreen
UPCOMING BAPTISM WEEKEND: June 8/9, 2013
What is the history of Baptism?
In the Old Testament, people converted to Judaism removed their clothing, were circumcised and took a ritual bath. They performed a "self-baptism".
In the New Testament, people who converted to Christianity were typically baptized by full immersion by a religious leader. This was "other-baptism" (baptism by another person) that was performed.
For Example, in Mark 1:4-5, John the Baptist preached a message of repentance and a baptism for repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John baptized people in the Jordan River by full immersion. The shift from self-baptism to other-baptism represents the symbolic shift from salvation earned by keeping the law, to salvation received by accepting God's gift for forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Biblical repentance refers to a change of life direction, not simply saying "I'm sorry." Water baptism is meant to be a public expression of your decision to change your life direction - to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
Interestingly, in Luke 3:21-22, Jesus was water-baptized by John the Baptist, marking the initiation of his ministry.
Baptism has been a part of the church for over two thousand years. Both sprinkling and full immersion have been practiced throughout church history. Baptism by sprinkling - which usually is infant baptism - has most been associated with the Catholic or Reformed traditions. Baptism by full immersion has mostly been associated with other Protestant traditions.
Although there are different understandings of infant baptism, it is generally understood to represent a covenant between God and the parents and provide entrance or membership of the infant into the Church. While we understand and appreciate the intent of infant baptism, it is not a practice we follow at Southview. Instead, we follow the practice of believer's baptism.
Believer's baptism simply means that an individual - whether a youth or an adult - is baptized after believing in Jesus Christ. Baptism is understood to be an outward symbol of a covenant between God and an individual. It is a public expression of a willful and conscious decision to accept the gift of salvation provided through Jesus Christ and a decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ.
The early church viewed baptism as a symbolic way of publicly letting go of all other religious traditions and other ways of life and devoting oneself solely to follow Jesus Christ.
What is a Christian?
A Christian, which formally means "Christ One", is simply a person who has come to recognize that they fall short of God's perfection, has accepted his forgiveness through Jesus Christ as a free gift, and asked Jesus to take control of their life. A Christian is a follower of Jesus.
This does not remove problems or temptations from life. But it does mean that we have made the decision to journey with Christ in all aspects of our lives.
Who should be baptized?
Everyone who has made a decision to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is seeking to follow Jesus.
When should I be baptized?
The biblical pattern for baptism is immediately following someone's decision to repent and accept God's forgiveness of sins. Most often, this was the very same day (Acts 3).
We would agree that it should be soon after one has accepted Christ into their lives. However, if you are uncertain about taking this step, you should take more time to think and pray about it.
What if I was baptized as a baby?
We view adult baptism as the fulfillment of infant baptism. Parents have their children baptized with the desire and hope that their children will be followers of Christ and part of his church. For that same child to mature to the place where they themselves make a conscious and willful decision of their own to follow Christ is an actualizing of that original intent of the parents. It takes nothing away from infant baptism; rather it fulfills the original intent of infant baptism.