What is baptism?


Baptism and communion (the Lord’s Supper) are the two ordinances prescribed by our Lord Jesus Christ as visible symbols of invisible grace. They are discernible and tangible representations of both the invisible realities of the gospel and the Spirit’s application of this gospel to our lives.


With both, believers have an opportunity to “remember” God’s goodness and grace, especially as revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Both baptism and communion picture Christ’s death and resurrection and our participation in His death and resurrection through union to Him in faith. As we enter into the waters or watch another do so, we are reminded that Christ was crucified and raised from the dead and that we too have died to the old self in order to live for Christ.


What a person believes about baptism affects how they will perform the ordinance. Who should be baptized? When should they be baptized? How should they be baptized? All of these questions are answered as we reflect upon what baptism means.


The Cobblestone Church Statement of Faith describes baptism as a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and depicts a release from the mastery of sin.

As a symbol, baptism, illustrates a number of significant realities:

1. Christ's death and resurrection

GALATIANS 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.


2. The disciple’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection

ROMANS 6:3–4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

3. The new life in which a disciple walks

ACTS 2:37–41 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

4. CLEANSING AND WASHING AWAY OF SIN

1 corinthians 6:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Questions about Baptism


How should I be baptized?
Churches answer this question in different ways. At Cobblestone, while we view other modes of baptism as valid, our preferred method is by immersion, for several reasons, among which are: the Greek word βαπτίζω (baptizo) means, literally, “to immerse” every Biblical example of baptism depicts immersion immersion most fully represents the Biblical significance of baptism (burial and resurrection, etc.) Jesus was baptized by immersion (see Matthew 3:16). 

When should I be baptized?
As soon as possible if you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and have gained an understanding of the meaning of baptism. In the Bible, people were baptized very soon after becoming Christfollowers (see Acts 2:41, Acts 8:35-38).

By whom should I be baptized?
Jesus' command is for his followers to baptize new followers. Therefore, you can certainly be baptized by a pastor, but you can also be baptized by any other Christfollower, such as the person who shared Christ with you, a person who discipled you, a parent, etc. If necessary, this person can be instructed by a Cobblestone pastor on the actual performance of the baptism.

Do I have to be a Cobblestone member to be baptized?
No. Baptism at Cobblestone is not about church membership, but about faith in Christ. Therefore, if you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and have experienced new life through faith in him, you are eligible to be baptized, even if you're not a member of our church.

What if I was batized as an infant?
Many people were baptized as infants; this ceremony is a covenant that believing parents make with God for their child. If your parents had you baptized as an infant and reared you to love and follow Christ, you should be very grateful! If you decide to follow Christ in baptism as an adult, that does not diminish your previous baptism or dishonor your parents' efforts at all. In fact, your baptism to signify your adult profession of faith in Jesus Christ can be seen as a fulfillment of those prayers and commitments your parents made on your behalf when you were too young to make such decisions yourself. Each of us has the privilege of responding to Jesus' call to baptism ourselves, of our own volition.

What should I tell me parents?
If your parents had you baptized as an infant, we would recommend that you first express your appreciation for the interest and care they took in your spiritual development from the youngest age. Then you might add that now that you have made a commitment to following Christ fully and intentionally for the rest of your life, you would like to signify your decision with adult baptism, adding that your decision actually fulfills the prayers they prayed and the covenant they made on your behalf those years ago. Many parents are thrilled to attend their children's adult baptism once they understand this.

Can my children be baptized?
If your child is old enough to understand the significance of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross, and has placed his or her faith in Jesus (which can happen at an early age, depending on the child's individual development), and understands the meaning of the baptism ceremony itself, then they are eligible for baptism. Of course, the older a child is, the more likely they are to fully appreciate the significance of what they are doing, and the more meaningful it will be for them.

What if I was baptized once before? Should I be baptized again?
As long as you were a Christ follower when you were baptized, you don't need to be baptized again. If, however, you were baptized only as a ritual before you really came to know and follow Christ, then baptism would be a good step for you. Also, for various reasons, people sometimes feel a strong desire to reenact their baptism at some point as they were first baptized as an adult. At Cobblestone, we arrange a “renewal of baptism” ceremony, that reminds a person of their baptism and helps them to renew the commitments and intentions they made public at that time.

What if I am handicapped, shy or afraid of water?
Simply let one of our pastoral staff know of your desire to be baptized and of your special circumstances, and they will do everything they can to accommodate you. Your circumstances do not need to stand between you and a meaningful baptism.

How do I arrange for a batism at Cobblestone?
You can arrange for baptism at Cobblestone by contacting a member of the pastoral staff. Their contact information is published in the weekend programs and on the website.

WANT TO GET BAPTIZED?

Contact one of the pastors today.