The following blog post is about WATER BAPTISM. If you are interested in baptized at West Salem Foursquare Church please check out this link: WSFC WATER BAPTISM.
We are offering baptism at EVERY service during the ENTIRE month of SEPTEMBER!
We encourage you to TAKE THE PLUNGE!
In Acts 8 we read about Philip’s encounter with a man from Ethiopia. Philip took the opportunity to expound upon the scriptures and introduce the Ethiopian to the saving knowledge of Jesus. While talking they came upon a body of water, and the man asked if he could be baptized. The New King James version of the Bible says that Philip responded with this prerequisite: “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
Before being baptized in water one must come to a place of surrender to Jesus by making Him the Lord and Savior. Our resolve must be similar to the Ethiopian man, “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Salvation is necessary before taking the next step of Water Baptism. If we have made Jesus the Lord of our life then Water Baptism is an appropriate next step!
Jesus left His people with two specific commands that are vital to our growth as Christians. The first is communion (the Lord’s Supper) and the second is Water Baptism. He gave the church these sacraments as a reminder of his death and resurrection. Water baptism is not our salvation, it is only another step of obedience in the plan of God. It symbolizes “death to self” and “new life” in the power and purposes of Christ. In a very real sense we are saying “Not my will, but yours.”
In Water Baptism we are identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:3,4 attests to this when it says, “all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. We were buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
When we are submersed into the waters of baptism, we are symbolically, yet very intentionally, dead to our old ways of living. Simply put: it is buried! As we come up from the water we are made alive to the new life found in Christ. Now that our old life is “dead unto Christ” you want to be sure not to go digging it back up!
Water Baptism is a public act that renounces sin from our past and professes faith in Christ. It’s a public expression that Jesus is Lord and that we are now a part of the family of God. Many have referred to baptism as a “outward sign of an inward work.” It’s a visible and audible confession to our friends, family, and church of the deep work Christ has done in our life. The Book of Acts chapter 10 refers to many individuals that responded to the message of Jesus. During this time the Apostle Peter asked if “anyone could keep these people from being baptized with water.” The answer was obviously “no” and therefore they were publicly baptized as an open acknowledgement of Christ as Lord.
Nothing could be greater than a life that is fully ALIVE through Jesus Christ! That happens when we are not trapped in bondage to our sin and guilt. In baptism we are crucifying the sin of our life and coming alive to Christ. There is great joy when we are alive to Christ and dead to sin. Water baptism is a symbolic statement of this new life and marks a point of release into further growth and ministry for us as believers.
Not only is Water Baptism a Biblical command, but it is also modeled to us by Jesus who himself was baptized as described in the Gospels. He knew the importance of this sacred moment and calls us to the same obedience, knowing that it will mark a significant point of blessing for our lives!