We encourage new believers and believers who have not yet participated in Believers Baptism to be baptised by immersion. Our position is that Baptism by immersion paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life.
What is the biblical foundation for baptism?
Jesus' final recorded words to His followers before His ascension to heaven express the importance He placed on Baptism. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands His followers, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism does not provide salvation for an individual, but rather serves to identify publicly the individual as a follower of Christ. In passages such as Acts 2:38, 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48, the act of Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. The New Testament records the Baptisms of adult believers only. In Romans 6:1–11, the apostle Paul describes the immersion of Baptism as a means through which the believer identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ: Going under the water represents Christ’s death—and a believer's death to sin; coming out of the water illustrates His resurrection and the believer's new life in Christ. I.e. that we are ‘born again’ in Jesus Christ.
Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ that follows an individual's acceptance of salvation by God's grace alone. Baptism isn't a prerequisite for salvation; however, if an inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of that commitment—Baptism—should follow, as is modeled throughout the New Testament in the lives of those choosing to follow Christ.
Why should I be baptised and what does it mean?
Quite simply because Jesus commanded it of all those who confess Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Saviour. We believe that this is the most important reason of all. Those who believe are called to obey the Lord Jesus Christ and to follow His example. Matthew 28:16-20 says:
‘Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
Because Jesus himself was baptised, even though He was without sin, and we want to follow His example (Matthew 3:13-17)
To symbolise the spiritual cleansing through divine forgiveness and the newness of life believers experience by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. I.e. to demonstrate the radical change that has taken place in their life.
As an opportunity for believers to make a public declaration of their commitment to Christ and their desire to follow him before all who witness the event.
To show that our lives have been transferred into new ownership of Jesus Christ and no longer under ownership to the slavery of sin. As Paul puts it in Galatians 2:20
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’
Baptism shows that we have been united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:1-4). As a believer, we die to sin and self-rule, bury the old life and instead become new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Whilst the water is not special in any way and in and of itself will not change anyone, being baptised in obedience to God does bring blessing. For example, look at what happened to Jesus after His baptism in Matthew 3:16-17.
‘As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’
Am I spiritually ready for baptism?
Once someone professes faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, the Bible says they should proclaim the life change that has occurred—the watching world needs to know. Baptism has always stood as a public testimony for people who have become believers in Christ.
Believers are those who have realised that their sins have separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through their own good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for his or her salvation.
In Acts 2:38, it says ‘Repent and be baptised’ so baptism is for those who have turned away from sin and have believed in Jesus for salvation. It is an outward response to the inner revelation of sin and turning from it to God. (Matthew 28:16, Mark 16:16)
It is clear in the Bible that baptism was, and is to continue to be, normal practice for all who believed and not an optional extra. (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:41, 8:12, 9:17-18, 10:47-48)
If you have come to this point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptised. Let the miracle that has happened in you show through the sacrament (baptism) He ordained for you.
Does King’s baptise infants?
Scripture provides evidence that Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). The New Testament only records the baptisms of adult believers.
In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them, and told us to welcome them. However, He did not baptise them and He did not tell anyone else to baptise them. King’s believes baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognises their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and His work on the cross.
Rather than baptising infants or children, we encourage Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
You can find more information about Child Dedication in our Child Dedication leaflet.
However, once a child is clearly able to demonstrate that they are spiritually ready for baptism (as above) and shows an ‘adult level’ of cognitive and developmental readiness, we are happy to baptise them as a believer. This is typically, but not restricted to, when they reach their teenage years. In other words, we deal with each person as an individual, regardless of their physical age.
What about if I was baptised as a baby?
If the purpose of baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, you may well be asking yourself, “What was the significance of my Baptism as a baby?” In the New Testament, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told His disciples to welcome them. But He did not baptise them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptise them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation.
If you were baptised as a child, it was hopefully the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. Your believer’s baptism can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes.
How should a believer be baptised?
Our English word ‘baptise’ is a translation of the Greek verb ‘baptizó’ (pronounced bap-tid-zo). It means to dip, plunge under, sink, immerse or submerge. The word was commonly used to describe the dying of cloth or the sinking of a ship.
Strong’s Greek concordance details baptise as: 907 baptízō – properly, "submerge" (Souter); hence, baptise, to immerse (literally, "dip under"). 907 (baptízō) implies submersion ("immersion"), in contrast to 472 /antéxomai ("sprinkle").
Therefore, to be baptised is to be completely immersed in water. The significance of this has been explained earlier.
What can I expect during a baptism service?
Baptism is one of the most things that happens times in church life as it is publicly demonstrates salvation. Therefore, baptism is celebration and we will be really excited to share in your baptism.
During the baptism service you may expect the following:
You will be invited to share a brief testimony. In this context, our testimony sharing how we became Christians by God’s miraculous intervention and work in our lives through specific events. This testimony may be given in the form of a short speech, by interview or prerecorded and shown as a video. We are happy to do this in whatever way you feel most comfortable. As testimonies are so encouraging to believers and help share the Gospel to non-believers we do encourage one to be given in one format or another
At the time for the baptism, and once in the water, you will be asked a few simple questions for you to acknowledge that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and that you will follow him for the rest of your life.
You will be baptised by immersion. To do this, we slowly lower you backward until under the water, and then bring you straight back up. We will explain to you beforehand how and where to stand. You will likely be baptised by one of the Elders and can also choose to have another believer (perhaps someone who has been significant in your coming to faith) come in and assist should you want to.
During the baptism there will be a time for believers to share scripture and prophetic pictures and words from God for you and to pray with you.
A few practical considerations…
When deciding what to wear, please bear in mind that you will get soaked and will be in a ‘pool’. Therefore, please avoid clothes that will become see-through, that will float on the water or that will become very heavy and uncomfortable (e.g. jeans).
Remember to bring a couple of towels and a change of clothes!
Ask someone to hold your towel for you, so that they can wrap you once out of the water.
Invite your friends and family – what a great opportunity to share your faith and encourage other believers that may have been praying for you.
You may also want to have some form of social event afterward with your friends and family – this could vary from light refreshments to a meal together as you choose.
Want to find out more? If so, please speak to one of the Elders or complete the form below.
In the meantime, here is a short taster video that shows what a baptism at King's is like: