– We believe that water baptism is a public witness intended to reflect an internal decision of faith to trust Jesus alone for salvation.
– We do not believe the Bible teaches that baptism is a necessary work for salvation, but rather it bears witness that salvation has already been experienced.
– We believe salvation is not by works or religious rituals, but is simply received when we embrace Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for our sins.
– We believe that baptism by immersion most clearly reenacts the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus which we identify with as believers.
- With Christ in His death, burial and resurrection
- With the body of Christ, the church
Baptism sets forth the fact that we died and were buried with Christ. We died unto sin (Rom. 6:6-7) and are raised with Him and share His risen life (v. 4).
Baptism also sets forth the fact that the Holy Spirit has baptized (placed) us into the body of Christ. In that Body each believer has a special function. “One Body, many members” (I Cor. 12:12-14).
Pronouncement as a disciple of Jesus Christ and fellow laborer in a local church.
It is not a part of our salvation, but the first major step in discipleship. Salvation is totally by grace through faith. It is a free gift of God to all who will believe on Christ and receive Him (Eph. 2:8-9; John 1:12; John 3:16).
It is the one specific way in which we are to publicly confess Christ before others, identifying ourselves with a local body of believers. It cost the early Christians a great deal to identify with local believers. Sometimes it cost their lives (Acts 7:58-60).