What we Believe about Baptism
What is Baptism?
Christian baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-5)
Christian baptism symbolizes the new birth by which one becomes a new creation in Christ. Baptism symbolizes the beginning of the new life. (John 3:1-4; 1 Peter 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Christian baptism is immersion in water in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ. It is an act of submission which commits one to a life of obedience.
Baptism is not
It is not a guarantee of Heaven. Faith with repentance saves. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Why should a person be baptized?
It is a command to be obeyed. (Matthew 28:18-20)
It is the appeal to God for a clear conscience. (1 Peter 3:21)
To demonstrate obedience and willingness to come under the lordship of Christ. (Matthew 3:15; 1 John 2:4)
Because Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.”
Who should get baptized?
Those who believe in Christ. (Mark 16:16)
Those who repent of sin. (Acts 2:38)
Those who confess Christ with their mouth. (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9)
*Because of the list above, ABT does not baptize infants, and believes that someone should be baptized after they are saved if they were baptized as an infant.
What is the reasoning for baptism by immersion?
Jesus was immersed. (Matthew 3:13-16)
Even scholars of churches which accept modes other than immersion will concede that immersion was original and that sprinkling and pouring were the concessions of man, and were never authorized or practiced by the Apostles of Christ.
Other forms did not come into practice until much later. No Biblical statement can be cited to grant any person or church the right to alter apostolic practice with regard to baptism. The true meaning of baptism cannot be visualized or portrayed in any form other than immersion.
FAQs and ANSWERS
Does ABT believe in “baptismal regeneration?”
No. Baptismal regeneration means that a person is saved by the act of baptism itself. The Bible says we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:18-9), not that we are saved by baptism.
Can a person be a Christian and not be baptized?
Once a person has said “Yes” to Jesus as Savior and Lord, he has forfeited all rights to say “No” to any of Christ’s commands. Baptism is one of those commands.
Why do we require a person to be a “baptized believer” in order to be a member of ABT?
Because in all the Biblical examples we have, this was the pattern of the early church.
How soon should a person be baptized once he has received Christ?
The pattern in Acts was immediately.
Should I be baptized again if I was baptized as a baby?
Yes, infant baptism is not scriptural. The Bible teaches believer’s baptism only. (Mark 16:16)
I was “baptized” in a previous church, by sprinkling or pouring. Should I be baptized again?
As a believer, you should be immersed since the New Testament teaches only immersion in water of a repentant believer.
Do I have to wait until I’ve completed all the sessions of the membership class to be baptized?
No, in fact, you shouldn’t wait. As a believer you should be baptized as soon as possible.
How do I go about being baptized at ABT?
Simply call the church office and ask for information about being baptized. We baptize the first Sunday of each month after our 11 AM and 6 PM services.
Am I required to be baptized in a public service?
We would strongly encourage you to do so, as an outward testimony that you believe in Jesus Christ and as an encouragement to the rest of the body of Christ.
What about my children? Should they be baptized?
Yes, if they are old enough to understand the Gospel, and if they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Does my baptism make me a member of Anchorage Baptist Temple?
No. If you get baptized at ABT, you will be asked if you’d like to join the church. At that time, you can decide to move your membership to ABT.