I want to begin first by stating the importance of knowing what the Scriptures say about Baptism so that you will know what you believe. Baptism is an Ordinance of the church and is not a Sacrament, due to the fact that grace is not conferred through the symbolic nature of the believer identifying with Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in Baptism. It is the responsibility of the believer, through obedience, to be baptized. Christ gave the command to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Therefore, every believer is under obligation to submit to this ordinance from the command of Jesus Christ.
We strongly hold that an individual must believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior first before he or she can be baptized according to Romans 10:9-10 which states,
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (ESV).
Therefore we resolutely hold that the act of Baptism alone without faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior does not save anyone.
Therefore concerning Baptism, it is the outward symbol of what has already taken place within the individual who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for His saving work on the cross, and this does not confer any spiritual benefit but only symbolic remission of sins, Romans 6:3-4 states:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (ESV).
We hold that the believer is to be immersed into water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The truths that are symbolized in Baptism are for :
- Remission of sins.
- Fellowship or union with Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection.
- Cleansing from all unrighteousness and consecration to the service of the kingdom of God, and resolve to walk in Newness of life.
- We hold that one must be baptized before one can participate in The Lord’s Supper.
Finally, one can only be baptized by those who are saved and ordained.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor James Moore, Jr.