New Life in Christ!
Baptism is a picture of our faith in Jesus Christ as a wedding ring is a symbol of marriage. It is an outward picture of the commitment to the relationship we have with Jesus.
Sterling Wood Staff
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible shows that Jesus was crucified (in our place), buried in a tomb, and rose from the dead three days later. Baptism is an outward symbol as we go under the water (buried with Christ), and come back out (raised with Christ) for new life.
Baptism does not save us. The Bible is clear that no action we do can save us. It is only through our faith in what Christ has done that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9). Baptism is a picture of our faith in Jesus Christ as a wedding ring is a symbol of marriage. It is an outward picture of the commitment to the relationship we have with Jesus. Just like wearing a wedding ring doesn’t make you married, being baptized doesn’t save you, but it does show the world your commitment to Christ.
Who Should be Baptized?
Anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ may be baptized. A decision to follow Jesus with all your heart comes first. Then, a baptism celebration follows.
…many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Acts 18:8
Why Should I be Baptized?
It is an act of obedience. Jesus told his followers to be baptized as part of the mission of the church. (Mt. 28:18-20)
Our obedience is an act of love for Jesus and shows his work in our lives. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River (Mark 1:9) so we are following his example. Baptism is a symbol of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Why do We Baptize by Immersion?
We baptize by immersion because this was the way Jesus was baptized. (Matt. 3:16) In fact, every baptism in the New Testament is by immersion. The word baptize actually means to “immerse” or “dip under water.” Baptism by immersion, going under the water and coming back out, is a picture of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
What if I was Baptized as an Infant?
Infant baptism is not found in the New Testament. It began out of a belief that baptism saves us from hell. Because of this belief, infants were baptized for their own protection. However, the Bible teaches that it is the Grace of Christ through faith in Him that saves us, not baptism.
Baptism always follows a person giving their life to Christ voluntarily. If you were baptized as an infant, you would not have been able to understand what it means to follow Christ or make that choice. It was an expression of your parent’s faith and their love for you. You could not have chosen that on your own. Being baptized now would be a symbol of your own faith and choice to embrace Christ now.
What if I was Baptized by Immersion?
Many people coming to Sterling Wood from other denominations were baptized by sprinkling or pouring as adults, and were making the decision themselves to follow Christ. You may be one of those people and feel like that was a significant event in your life. You may even feel like being baptized again would betray that previous experience. We appreciate that, and we do not want to insult or minimize those feelings.
A thought…If Jesus was immersed, and He chose this way to picture your burial and resurrection with Him, why not go the extra mile and be immersed also? It will not subtract from your previous experience. It will show an additional willingness to follow Him. Baptism is not a ritual, but an act of faith and obedience. You are not making less of what you did before, but adding to it! Your act of faith may even encourage others!
How can I Be Baptized?
You can start by talking with any of our staff. They will walk through the process with you, answer questions, and fill out paperwork. Afterwards, our secretary will contact you to schedule your baptism date. You will meet with the pastor the day of your baptism (30 minutes before the service) in the Worship Center to discuss specifics of the event.
If you would like to speak to a staff member about baptism, please call the church office at 281-457-5730.
Please note that placing your faith in Jesus Christ for salvation and then being baptized by immersion is a requirement for membership at Sterling Wood Church. If you have already been baptized in this manner at another church, you DO NOT need to be re-baptized at Sterling Wood.
What do I Bring to Baptism?
Bring a towel, a change of clothes, toiletries, and hair dryer if desired.