At MBC, we practice believer’s baptism. This is baptism of the repentant believer by immersion in water. We do immersion baptism because that's the way Jesus did it, the New Testament church did it, and we are commanded to do it. Jesus told us in the Great Commission to "go and teach and make disciples and immerse." (Matt 28:18 - literal Greek translation)
How does baptism relate to salvation? What does baptism symbolize?
Baptism is an outward symbol of the internal commitment made by every believer. It is but a symbol of our new life in Jesus Christ.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Baptism is one of two ordinances given by the Lord Jesus: baptism (Matt. 28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23), also known as “communion.” These ordinances serve as visible signs of an invisible transformation that has already taken place in the life of the believer. Participation in baptism and communion does not bring salvation; this comes only by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:16). However, we do believe that baptism is an important first act of obedience and an important way of professing one’s faith in Christ.
Baptism uniquely symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5); baptism by immersion vividly pictures the reality of new life in Christ.
“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.” (Romans 6:4)
“…having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
“...and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you Also ~ not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21)
Who Should Be Baptized
Baptism points to the beginning of the Christian life (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38) and displays one’s commitment to turn from sin and trust in Christ for salvation. For this reason, we do not baptize infants. If you were baptized as an infant, we would ask that—in obedience to Scripture and as part of becoming a member of Millington Baptist Church—you be baptized as a believer.
“…when they believed…they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)
A Candidate for Baptism Should Be Able To:
- Communicate the content of the gospel as well as an expression of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
- Evidence godly sorrow over sin, followed by repentance which leads to the fruit of the Spirit.
- Examine himself and the condition of his soul (1 Cor. 11:27-32).
- Demonstrate a willingness to turn away from the world and instead live a life keeping God’s commands and loving God’s church (1 John 2:15-17; 5:1-5).
- Exhibit fruit which proceeds from regeneration (Gal. 5:22-23).