What is Baptism?
We believe that baptism is important. The waters can get muddied fast between “we think this” and “we think that,” but it’s really clear to us: baptism is an outward expression of a beautiful, singular, inward spiritual reality – that Jesus and only Jesus has saved you; that Jesus literally suffered the penalty of your sin so that you could be permanently free from sin’s awful hurt and offensiveness (Romans 6:12-14); that the Holy Spirit of God now lives inside you (Acts 2); and that you’ve been adopted like a child into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14). Baptism is simply our special way of celebrating this union with Christ (Romans 6:1-11).
How Do We Baptize?
Although the Bible doesn’t exactly give us a prescription for baptism, many church traditions disagree about what method of baptism is best. Some churches make a case for sprinkling. Some make a case for pouring the water over you. Some think that you have to be outside in a natural body of water that’s streaming passed you.
So which method “works”? We believe no method “works”. We believe Jesus works. And while the Redeemer community baptizes by fully immersing the new believer in water (mainly because the Greek verb “to baptize” means to immerse; to dip, submerge, or plunge), we’ll baptize you just about anywhere as long as you mean to follow Jesus. We’ve even been known to throw a good outdoor baptism celebration from time to time!
Similarly, there’s no precise biblical prescriptor for who does the baptizing. For this reason we love encouraging the person being baptized to choose a Christian believer who’s been significant in their lives to baptize them.
Is Baptism Required for Salvation?
We said that baptism is important. It really is. But being baptized doesn’t save you. Jesus saves you. Baptism doesn’t “work”. Jesus works. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”