Baptists believe that the New Testament teaches that baptism is for those who have repented of their sin and put their in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for their sins according to the scriptures, was buried and rose again on the third day, and who are committed to living His way.  In other words, baptism is for believers.

Why be baptised?

Jesus Christ commands his followers to be baptised, He instructed His disciples to ‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19).   Baptism is a vital step at the beginning of the christian life because in it:

  • We obey the command of the Lord Jesus to the church (Matthew 28:18).
  • We follow the example of Jesus, who was baptised by John the Baptist because ‘it is right to do all that God requires’ (Matthew 3:15).
  • We continue the practice of the first christians who baptised all who responded to the preaching of the gospel (Acts 2:37-41).
  • We participate symbolically in the death and resurrection of Christ.  In baptism we identify with Christ as a sign that our lives are now under His Lordship (Romans 6:1-11).
  • We declare our faith in Christ and our commitment to live a new life in the power of the Spirit.
  • We experience the grace and blessing of, and enter into the body of Christ, the community of the baptised.  This means that baptism is the pre-requisite for membership of the church.

Why believer’s baptism?

For Baptists, the arguments for baptism outlined above are most clearly enacted in the baptism of those who have come to faith in Christ.  The New Testament evidence supports this view, and the points outlined above all connect baptism closely to a person’s own response of faith and commitment to discipleship and the church.

How are people baptised?

Baptism is by full immersion in water; this was the practice in the New Testament and it best symbolises the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with which we are identifying.  If there are good health reasons for not immersing the person, baptism may occur by affusion (pouring).

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