13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13017
One of the marks of following Jesus is baptism by immersion. We do this, essentially, because it is what Jesus did. Additionally, it is part of the mission that He gave us before He ascended back to Heaven in Matthew 28:18-20: 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
At Life, this is one of our theological distinctives. That is to say, while numerous other churches practice baptism, we practice it by full immersion in water, which is how we see John baptizing Jesus. We believe that this baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ. It is not a private guarantee of something but rather a public declaration of a commitment to following Jesus. We do this by immersion because it’s in line with the original significance of the word “baptism.” It also best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points: our death and resurrection in Christ.
Our next baptism celebration will be on Sunday, July 17th, at Pageant Field in Quincy at 10 AM. There we will gather as the larger extended family of both services at one time to worship, hear stories of redemption and renewal, baptize some followers of Jesus, and celebrate what Jesus has done in our lives, what He’s doing through our lives, and what He’s going to do in and through us as we fill our neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities with followers of Jesus!
If you are interested in learning more about baptism, maybe have some questions you’d like answered (For example, Can my child get baptized?) , or just would like to get baptized, our next baptism class takes place after church on Sunday, June 26th, at 12:30 PM at Sterling Middle School where we meet. You can sign up here.
Check out Mike’s baptism story!