Baptism is going public about your faith in Jesus and communicating to the world your heart-felt commitment to following Him. It’s the next step after salvation.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It’s a public declaration of how Jesus changed your life. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34). Baptism doesn’t save a person; it’s a symbol and celebration of salvation (1 Peter 3:21).
Jesus instructs us to be baptized and He set the example by being baptized Himself (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9). 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. Being baptized shows that we turn away from a life of sin toward Jesus, the only one who can change us (Acts 2:38-41).
For everyone who decides to follow Jesus, baptism is the next step. Anyone who commits his or her life to following Jesus is ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12). Our suggestion is to take this step as soon as possible.
As parents, we can help point our children to Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him (Romans 10:9). Any instance of baptism follows a person’s decision to trust Jesus for his or her salvation and commitment to follow Him (Acts 10:47-48). At Arlington Assembly, we wait until children are old enough to express their own decision to follow Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism. We encourage you to sign your child up if you believe they meet this criteria.
Baptisms in the Bible were by immersion. The original word for baptism most often referred to being immersed or submerged in water. Jesus was baptized by being immersed in the water and rising out of it (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10). Submersion in the water symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Being submersed underwater represents our death to sin and old way of life, and being raised out of the water is a picture of how Jesus raised us and gave us a fresh start in life (Romans 6:3-5).
If you haven’t been baptized by immersion since you decided to follow Jesus, we want to help you take your next step of being baptized. Once you’ve taken that step, there’s no need to be baptized again.