Who gets baptized?

Hey, thanks again for sending in your questions related to our recent services and sermons. This past week we had actually a number of questions come in regarding baptism because coming up at the end of the month is our beach worship and baptism service, us down at Seabrite Beach near Santa Cruz. So we’ve been talking a lot, not in our sermons specifically, but during our services about baptism and the importance of being baptized. And that that is something that faithful followers of Jesus do because he commanded us to be baptized if we are following Him. And so kind of a theme of one of the questions is why do we baptize or who do we baptize or who needs to be baptized?

And so we at Bridges believe that baptism is a symbol really of what Jesus did for us, that we are united with Him in burial that is going into the water, and then we are united with Him in resurrection, coming out of the water to new life. It shows that our old life before we were connected to Christ has been paid for through what Christ did and that we were crucified with Him, as it says in Romans six. And then we are symbolically along with Him, raised back to life as we come out of the water. And now we have his life, we have his identity, we have his worth, we have his status. And it is this process of burial and resurrection, death and resurrection penalty is paid and resurrection to new life.

And so who we baptize are people who confess that all of that is true of them, that they understand their sin and that that would separate them from God, but that Jesus has paid the price to reunite them. To God, taking switching places with them, taking the penalty that they owe, that he paid it, that we are buried with him and now that we have new life in him. And so those are the people that we baptize, people who say, I believe that. I believe Jesus did that for me. I believe I needed Him to do that for me.

I trust Him to give me his worth and to take my sin and I’m going to follow Him with my life. And those are the people that we baptize. As far as who needs to be baptized, it’s everybody who has said that about Jesus. Jesus actually commands at the end of Matthew to go forth into all nations, teaching them and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And so if you are someone who has not been baptized since you became a believer in Christ as part of your obedience to Christ, it needs to happen.

And I shared some of my story at a different time a couple of years ago when we were having a baptism service. But I was actually baptized as an infant community prayed for me I’m sure that was a wonderful service. But then later, as a college student, I came to terms with I really need to have a public display illustrating what Jesus has done for me. This death and resurrection symbolizing that to the community. I need to show the community through this into the water, out of the water, what Jesus has done for me.

And so I was immersed as a college student when I said, I want people to know what Christ has done for me. And I want to illustrate that through my actions, through this baptism. So if you are someone who maybe you were only baptized as an infant or if you are someone who’s come to Christ and have never been baptized at all, what we would love for you to do this. July 31 is to come to the beach with us, and we will baptize you in the ocean where you can show others, you can show everybody on the beach. In our congregation that’s gathered there, how you were united with christ in his death that he has taken the penalty of your sin.

And then as he rose back to life, that you are rising to new life in him and that you have his worth and his status and his identity and his life. And you can show that through the act of baptism to everybody who there. So we hope that as you pray, god will lead you to your next steps with him, which might be baptism. If so, let us know, and we’ll make sure that it happens there on July 31.