What is Baptism?
Baptism is the way that the church has historically marked entrance into the church. It is a rite full of meaning that serves as a welcome and an initiation into the people called ‘Christian.’
Baptism has roots in Judaism as a ritual of cleaning. John the Baptist infused this ritual with a sense of forgiveness and repentance. By entering the waters of baptism, Jesus adopted this practice for himself and for his followers. The baptism of Jesus differed from our baptism in that it served as Jesus’ coronation as the chosen one, the Messiah of God.
Different Christian traditions baptize in different ways. Some baptize infants, others practice believers’ baptism. Some sprinkle with water, others fully immerse. At Northside Drive Baptist Church, it is our practice to fully immerse those who are old enough to decide for themselves to enter the water of baptism (believers). This practice is rooted in our Baptist tradition.
However, it is also our practice at Northside Drive Baptist Church to recognize the baptisms of other Christian traditions. In general, we do not re-baptize. It is our ecumenical spirit that affirms God’s work in other places and other ways.
In baptism, one makes a commitment to be a follower of Jesus Christ, to join the church (universal) and to live consistent with Christian teaching.
Baptism is a performative act in which something significant happens. It is not magic and it does not, by itself, impart salvation. Rather, it is a change in status.
Baptism is a mark in time. It is a line in the sand that indicates (not perfectly) that something new has begun.
Baptism mimics the movements of death and rebirth, following the pattern that Jesus set before us as we die to our old selves and are reborn into a new life.
The early church adopted the practice of baptizing new Christians on Easter Sunday, a practice that we celebrate at Northside Drive.
If you have questions about baptism or are interested in being baptized, have a conversation with Pastor Scott.
Rev. Scott Hovey |