1. What is baptism?
Baptism is our response to God's love for us. It's an outward expression of an inward transformation that has already taken place through our personal faith in Jesus. Baptism is a public acknowledgment to the world that we have decided to follow Jesus.
Like a wedding ring--baptism is the outward symbol of the covenant you have made in your heart. It tells the world of your commitment and reminds family and friends of the responsibility they share to uphold you. Being baptized shows others that you've decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34).
2. Why should I be baptized?
To follow the example set by Jesus (Mark 1:9). Baptism is an act of obedience and demonstrates submission to God (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus himself was baptized, giving it special significance - Jesus loved us enough to identify with us! Every person who has received Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior should be baptized (Acts 2:38-41, Acts 18:8). It is an expression of one's faith in Jesus, trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Obedience to Jesus shows we believe and follow Him. (1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we can go public about our love for Him.
3. What’s the meaning of baptism?
Baptism illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection. The word baptism means "to sprinkle or immerse in water." As we experience baptism, we identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Colossians 2:12).
Being baptized also shows that we turn away from a life of sin and toward Jesus, the only one who can change us. (Acts 2:38-41). Baptism illustrates new life as a follower of Jesus and paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life. “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away, and a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4)!”
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” us, only faith in Christ does that. Salvation precedes baptism and never depends upon it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
4. When's the best time to be baptized?
As soon as you believe (Acts 8:12, Acts 8:35-38)! If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel “good enough.” If you believe and accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God--that He died for your sins and was resurrected, conquering death for you--and trust Jesus with your life, giving Him control, you are ready (Acts 2:41). There is no reason to delay.
5. What methods of baptism are available?
The Free Methodist Church permits baptism by any of three methods: immersion (Romans 6:4), pouring (Acts 2:33) or sprinkling (Ezekiel 36:25) according to the request of the candidate. There is evidence of all three imageries in Scripture.
6. Do you baptize infants?
We provide a service for either baptism or dedication. In both, we emphasize the grace of God and the necessity of faith. When Christian parents--as a matter of conscience--have a preference for one service or the other, our pastors honor that request. By teaching and follow-up, we emphasize that neither practice has "saving" virtue and that both are appropriate for parents who themselves are living the life of faith. For more information about Infant Dedication and Baptism, click here.
7. When is a child ready to be baptized?
When parents consider their child to be old enough to have a sincere faith (Romans 10:9) and understand of the meaning of baptism (Acts 10:47-48) they are ready to be baptized. For tips on talking to your child about baptism and Jesus, click here. As parents, you have the biggest influence on what you child understands about Jesus, but only they can decide if they will commit their lives to Him.
8. Do I need to be baptized again?
If baptized as a baby or before you truly understood the meaning of baptism, we encourage you to be baptized again as a reflection of your own desire and commitment to Jesus. Once you've taken the step, baptism does not wear off. You don't need to be baptized again if you have been baptized after accepting Jesus Christ, but have struggled and are now renewing your commitment. If you are seeking to rededicate your life to God, the best action is to get connected to a Growth Group and focus on growing your relationship with God.
9. What is a Towel-Bearer?
If you choose to be baptized in our pond, we encourage you to identify a Christ-follower who has played a significant role in helping you discover a life of peace, hope, and purpose in Jesus, then invite them to serve as your “Towel Bearer.” They will greet you when you come out of the water. That person can be a family member, a friend, a ministry leader or one of our staff.
10. When can I be baptized?
Our next baptisms will take place on Sunday, September 12. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to hear your story (your testimony) and to witness your baptism. If you’re ready to “take the plunge” make sure you REGISTER HERE.
11. What should I wear for a baptism in the pond?
Dark clothes, or a bathing suit with a dark t-shirt. Bring extra clothes to change into afterward.
12. Do I have to be baptized at Chelsea Free Methodist Church to be a member?
Baptism is a requirement for membership. If you’ve not taken the step to be baptized before being received as a member, you must commit to doing so the next time offered.