On Thursday, August 11th, Downtown Cornerstone will be celebrating its first baptisms at Myrtle Edwards Park. We’ll light up the grills, play some beats, and celebrate the grace of God – most clearly seen in Jesus Christ – in baptism. Invite a friend. Bring some meat. Arrive expectant. Many of you may not be familiar with the act of baptism, so I prepared the following as a biblical brief.
The Gospel is the good news of the forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ.
When we repent of our sin, trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation, we should be baptized (Mat 28:18-20; Acts 2:38) In baptism we identity with Jesus in his death (being immersed under water) and his resurrection to new life (being brought out of the water) for the forgiveness of sin (Rom 6:1-10; Col 2:12). It is outward symbolic act that demonstrates the inward reality of what God has accomplished on the cross through His Son. In so doing, we identify ourselves with Jesus (Acts 10:48; Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27), the universal church (1 Cor 12:13), and the local church (Acts 2:41).
Why should Christians be baptized?
Jesus commanded that all Christians be baptized (Mt 28:19).
Who should be baptized?
Every baptism in the New Testament is preceded by repentance of sin and faith in Jesus (Acts 2:38-41; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 9:18-19; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 16:14-15, 40; Acts 16:29-36; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:1-7; Acts 22:16). In other words, only Christians who have repented of sin and have trusted in Jesus should be baptized. Therefore, all non-Christians and children too young to demonstrate repentance and articulate faith should be excluded.
May I be baptized if I have previously been baptized?
Once baptized there is no need to be baptized again (Eph 4:5). However, there is one exception, if you were baptized as a non-Christian and now desire to profess your faith in Him you may be baptized (Acts 19:1-5). This would include would include people who were baptized in cults and heretical churches, as well as those baptized as infants at the request of their parents. Downtown Cornerstone does not require those who were baptized as children to be baptized as believing adults, though encouraged, but leaves this decision to the conscience of each Christian.