Baptism is a very important thing in the life of a believer. It’s one of the first acts of obedience that we make. There’s nothing magical about the water; this act is an outward declaration of what God has already done in your heart.
Want to know more about baptism? Check out Jim’s sermon on Believer’s Baptism from our Ekklesia sermon series and the FAQ section below.
Sometimes during the year, we have a special baptism service at the beach. It’s a perk of being a church on the Space Coast in Florida. Such a Florida thing to do.
Check out one of our beach baptisms below. While most of our baptisms happen in one of our regular worship services at Bay West Church, our beach baptism is a fun and special event.
FAQs about baptism
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… and He rose again.” –I Cor. 15:3-4
“For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” —Col. 2:12
2. It illustrates my new life as a Christ follower.
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” –2 Cor. 5:17
“By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead… so also we may live a new life!” –Rom. 6:4
3. Baptism does not make you a believer – it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not “save” you, only your faith in Christ and through His power does that occur. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it is the outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith… it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8,9
The Greek word baptizo means, “to immerse or dip under water.” Baptism by immersion is kind of redundant.
2. Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” –Matt. 3:16
3. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
“…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” –Acts 8:38-39
“Those who believe and accepted His message were baptized…” –Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” –Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” –Acts 8:12
At Bay West Church, we don’t baptize babies or children who are not old enough to make a decision to follow Christ of their own accord. We wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed.
This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible, which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ.
At Bay West Church, it is a membership requirement that every member must have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrated, even though some of us may have been “confirmed” as children.
“Those who believe[d]…were baptized…that day!” –Acts 2:41
“Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” –Acts 8:35-38
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel “good enough!”
However, it is important to remember that baptism is a personal statement of faith, not a family tradition. It is usually not wise to delay your baptism while waiting on other family members to accept Christ and follow Him, particularly children. This puts an undue pressure on them, and delays your obedience.
Men may wear swim shorts and a t-shirt.
Bring a change of clothes, a towel, and a plastic bag for your wet articles of clothing. We provide changing rooms.
At the beginning of the service, we will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. You will wait with other candidates for your turn to be baptized. We will contact you the week prior to the baptism service to tell you when and where to show up for these proceedings. One of the pastors from our team will introduce you, briefly lower you just under the water, and then you can leave the pool, dry off, and watch the others. Later you will be mailed a certificate/picture of your baptism. We encourage you to invite all your relatives and friends to attend your baptism.
There may be pictures taken or video of the baptism, but this procedure is random and not guaranteed, so if you would like a personal record of your baptism, feel free to have friends or family members record video or take pictures. Please ask them to be discreet and be aware of the nature of our service in doing so (not talking when the pastor or welcome host are speaking, children not running between seats, etc.).