Water Baptism

What is your view on infant baptism?

You can find Scripture dedication of babies in the Bible, but they didn’t baptize babies in water anywhere in the Bible.

Jesus is our example – as a baby he was dedicated by Zachariah, not baptized. Later Jesus was baptized as an adult. Infant baptism doesn’t hurt anybody. What damages people’s faith is when they believe that because they were baptized as a child, that somehow saves them, and it doesn’t. You can’t be saved until you come to the knowledge of the truth, and when you come to the knowledge of the truth, and then you either accept it or reject it.

Babies go to heaven when they die – period – because the Bible says that His angels . . . He beholds the face of those children. But dedicate your child as an infant and then baptize them later when they are of full age to make their own decision.

But also, you wouldn't be wrong for supporting people who do baptize their infants or by being a witness as a godparent in a sense for your relatives’ or your friends’ infant baptism – even though it’s really not baptism; it’s really a dedication. They can call it what they want, but you really can’t be baptized until you are born again.

Water Baptism

Early on I was baptized in water, and now I have become a member of another church. Do I need to get baptized again in the new church or is once enough?

Once is enough to be baptized if you got baptized after you had professed Jesus as your Savior. Believing and then getting baptized is the order of the Scripture. Changing churches does not require you to be baptized again unless your first baptism was not something you really understood, had faith for, or wanted to do. If you were baptized out of ritual, then you probably should do it again – this time from your heart.

Water Baptism

I’m saved and believe in Jesus, but the subject of baptism comes up. Can you talk about that?

I think there are three reasons why people should be baptized – none of which are in order to get to heaven by the way. So baptism cannot get us into heaven. The only thing that gets us into heaven is putting our faith in the sacrificed blood of Jesus Christ. It’s the only thing that will get us into heaven.

But why is it important to be baptized? Number one, baptism is an outward sign of an inward conviction of our heart. So if we really want to obey God, once we’re born again, once we’re saved, we should want to obey God by going through the waters of baptism as an act of love obedience. As an act of love, we want to obey Him. That’s reason number one that you should be baptized - because Jesus said you should.

Number two, when you’re baptized, it is a testimony to other people that you have ended your old life and you have been raised up with Jesus to start a new life. It’s a testimony to other people.

The third reason baptism is important is because when you get baptized, there is a spiritual miracle that takes place in baptism and it’s called a spiritual circumcision. In the Old Testament, men or boys were circumcised and the unclean part of their body was cut off. The unclean part of their private part was cut off. And so circumcision was a cutting away of the unclean portion of a man’s male organ.

And what we do now is, instead of having to do that in order to be cleansed from evil, cleansed from a nature of sin, we are baptized in water and our old, sinful nature is removed from us as written about in Colossians chapter 2. And we rise up, free from our old nature. Even though when we’re born again we have a new nature, our old nature is still lingering and hanging around.

And that’s why baptism delivers us from the old nature. And of course, we still have to read our Bibles and we still have to walk by faith and we still have to obey God. But there’s a spiritual miracle that takes place in the waters of baptism. So those are the three reasons why you should be baptized.

You shouldn’t have to be a member of a church in order to be baptized in that church. Certainly that sort of goes with the territory. It’s the cheese that comes with the cheeseburger. If you become a member here, we would encourage people to be baptized if they’re not already baptized. But you don’t have to be a member of our church to be baptized. We do it once a month, either the 1st or the 2nd Sunday of the month. Right after our 2nd service in the morning we baptize people in our Prayer Center. And if you’re looking for more information, you can go to our website at changinglives.org and it will give specific dates for those kinds of things.

I want to make a point about the law and the commandments and let you know that keeping the commandments cannot save you. See, we’re not set free from obeying the commandments. When we’re born again, we’re set free from the punishment of not obeying the commandments. If you don’t obey the commandments in the Old Testament, then you missed out on the blessing of God and you made yourself susceptible to the curses – the curse of poverty and the curse of disease and the curse of fear and the curse of failure. All the curses written about in Deuteronomy 28 become yours – all of them become yours when you don’t obey all of the commandments.

But when you make Jesus the Lord of your life, He redeems you from the curse of the law. He doesn’t redeem us from the law; He redeems us from the curse of the law. We should still follow the moral law of the Old Testament, not the ceremonial law where you have to wash your hands a certain way, you have to eat certain foods. We’re free from having to obey the ceremonial law. But God has written the law of God in our hearts so that we desire, we want to obey God now once we’re saved, once we’re born again.

And the greatest law of all is the law of love. And if you fulfill the law of love and you love God with all your heart and you love your neighbor as yourself, then all the rest of the commandments are going to fall in live perfectly because if you truly love your neighbor, you’re not going to lie to your neighbor. If you truly love your neighbor, you’re not going to steal from your neighbor. If you truly love your neighbor, you’re not going to commit adultery with your neighbor if you truly love them. So, hope that helps.

Water Baptism

We believe that Jesus is both 100% divine and 100% human. Then what happened during His baptism? Was it completing His divinity, or was that more for us as an illustration of what’s going to happen with us in our baptism?

When Jesus was on this earth, He was God and He was man. But He lived on this earth as a man, and He handled life as a man, and He faced life’s situations as a man. To minister on this earth and truly have an impact, you have to have the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus needed the Holy Spirit too because He was operating as a man and was limited in His own human power. That’s why it says that He came down “in the power of the Spirit” in Luke 4 – that’s when His earthly ministry began.

That also serves as an example to us that we should not try to conduct the business of our spiritual lives without the power of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus, who was God and man all at the same time, needed the Holy Spirit to operate in His life and to fulfill His ministry, then certainly we need the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill our life, our calling, our purpose, and our ministry. Why He was baptized in water is a different subject. He did not need to be baptized in water to cleanse Him from sin because He was sinless. But He did that to fulfill the command of God to be baptized.

Water Baptism

Does it really matter how a person is baptized? In the name of Jesus, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost or Both?

Well, there are religious sects or religious groups who say that it has to be done a certain way. But we find in the Bible it was done in different ways. Baptism was sometimes done in the name of Jesus Christ, sometimes it was done in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

The spirit of it is what matters, not the legalism of: did we use the exact words in the right order. Does that person have faith? The eunuch said in Acts 8, “Look, here is water. What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said “if you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, then it’s permitted. You can be baptized.” And he said, “I believe Jesus is risen from the dead and he’s the Son of God.” And Philip baptized him. There’s no reference to “did he use the right words.” It was that the man truly believed and that’s why his baptism was valid.

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