We believe that believers are commanded to be baptized in water by immersion as a visual picture of what Christ has done in their life. We believe that water baptism, which is not required for salvation but rather demonstrates the believer’s obedience, honors the Father who sent His Son, Christ who died for us, and the Holy Spirit that convicted, sealed, and guarantees our eternal promise.
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, baptizing 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. Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Baptism is not simply a good idea or a nice suggestion. It is a command of Jesus. Every follower of Jesus is commanded to be baptized. If you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and have made a commitment to follow Him, then your responsibility is to obey Jesus by being baptized.
John records, The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. John 4:1-2 (NIV).
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize his followers and the passage in John 4 (above) confirms that Jesus had turned over the responsibility of baptizing his followers to his disciples. So, the primary qualification for the person that baptizes you is that they are a disciple of Jesus Christ. At The Pointe, we suggest you ask the person who had the greatest influence on your decision to follow Jesus Christ to baptize you.
Baptism is not about location, but about the presentation of your life to God in obedience to His Word. The Scriptures teach that baptism is about your relationship with God, not your relationship to a local church. If you were baptized as a young person or adult in one church and then later moved, your baptism has not changed in the eyes of God.
The Bible teaches that baptism is not a removal of dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God from a clean conscience. 1 Peter 3:21 (NLT). In the New Testament, only adults were baptized. Since baptism represents an “appeal to God” or decision you’ve made to follow Jesus, it makes sense that only those capable of making that decision should be baptized.
If you were baptized as an infant, it was because your parents decided that you should be baptized. Your infant baptism may have been your parent’s way of wanting you to have a good start on your spiritual journey. See, infant baptism is more about the faith of one’s parents and their decision for their child. An infant doesn’t choose to be baptized.
Since the command of Jesus to be baptized is about your personal relationship with God, then baptism is reserved solely for those who have reached the age where they are capable of making a decision to start a relationship with Jesus and who grasp the meaning of baptism.
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:36-39(NKJV).
We only read of baptisms of adults in the Bible yet we must remember that most young teenagers in the first century would have been considered young adults back then. Additionally, the Bible does not give us a minimum age requirement for baptism. Like the passage above, the real requirement is whether you have truly “believed with all your heart.”
A person who understands that Jesus is the Son of God and has made a decision to follow Jesus is the perfect candidate for baptism. The age of the person depends on their ability to know what they are doing in baptism. Some young people might understand baptism at age 6; others might not grasp the meaning until their early teens. But all who seek to be baptized must understand what baptism is and they must know why they are being baptized.
Wise parents avoid pressuring their children to be baptized but instead pray that God would bring about a spiritual conviction in their heart to obey Jesus by being baptized.