1. What is baptism?
Baptism is our response to God’s love for us. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward transformation that has already taken place through our personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism is a public acknowledgment to the world that we have made the decision to follow Jesus.
Baptism is like a wedding ring—it’s an outward symbol of the covenant or commitment you have made in Jesus. A ring is not required to be or stay married. However, the ring is a rich symbol to the bride and groom of their covenant with God and each other. It also tells the world of their commitment and reminds family and friends of the responsibility they share to uphold the couple. This is similar to Baptism. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34).
Baptism does not save us. The New Testament teaches that salvation is based on personal faith in Jesus Christ apart from any other action. Baptism is a symbol of the salvation that has already taken place in your life! Salvation precedes baptism and never depends upon it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
2. Why should I be baptized?
Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience and demonstrates submission to God. Jesus himself was baptized, giving it special significance — Jesus loved us enough to identify with us! (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9). Every person who has received Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior should be baptized (Acts 2:36-41). Baptism was given expressly and exclusively to those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is an expression of one’s faith in Jesus Christ, trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Obedience to Jesus shows we believe and follow Him. (1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we can go public about our love for Him. Being baptized shows that we turn away from a life of sin and toward Jesus, the only one who can change us. (Acts 2:38-41)
3. When’s the best time to be baptized?
The only qualification for baptism is to believe and accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—that He died for your sins and was resurrected, conquering death for you—and to trust Jesus with your life, giving Him control (Acts 2:41). Anyone who commits his or her life to following Jesus is ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12).
4. Why do we immerse in water when baptizing?
Jesus was baptized by being immersed in the water and rising out of it (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10). When we are immersed in the waters of baptism, our old nature or worldly nature and our sin is dead and buried (Romans 6:3-5). This symbolizes you are no longer living for yourself but for the Kingdom.
Being lowered into the water is a symbol of the burial of Christ and you are burying your old self. Being raised from the water is a symbol of the resurrected Christ and you have a new life in God as an heir in His family and coheir with Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
5. Do you baptize children?
Baptism is for children who can express their own decision (Romans 10:9) to trust and follow Jesus and understands the meaning of baptism (Acts 10:47-48). For tips on talking to your child about baptism and Jesus, visit here. Finally, as parents, we have the biggest influence on what our children understand about Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him.
6. Do I need to be baptized again?
Crossroads recommends that you be baptized if you have not been baptized by immersion AFTER accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Therefore if you were baptized as a baby or before you truly understood the meaning of baptism, we encourage you to be baptized again as a reflection of your own desire and commitment to Jesus. God never asks us to take a next step that isn’t good for us. He always gives us more than we deserve or can imagine, including the joy we receive from listening to Him and doing what He says.
Once you’ve taken the step, baptism does not wear off. You don’t need to be baptized again if you have been baptized after accepting Jesus Christ but have struggled and are now renewing your commitment. If you are seeking to rededicate your life to God the best action is to get connected in a community group and focus on growing your relationship with God.
If you want to learn more, we have an audio teaching by Brian Wells (teaching pastor) that describes the baptism ceremony, explains the symbolism surrounding it, and examines the significance of baptism. Listen to the audio message here.
7. Who can baptize me?
Anyone you want, provided that person is a Christ-follower who has already been baptized (whether that’s family, a friend, a serving team leader or a baptism staff member).
8. How many community baptisms are there each year?
We have two sign-up baptisms each year and another open-call baptism during weekend services.
9. Will I get wet?
You better believe it. We baptize via full water immersion, unless we’re baptizing infants or someone with physical or health limitations.
10. What should I wear?
Dark clothes, and bring extra clothes to change into.
11. Do I have to be baptized at Crossroads?
Nope. You can be baptized anywhere there’s enough water to get dunked; a swimming pool, a lake, even the Ohio River if you’re brave. Please note that Crossroads staff cannot accommodate off-site baptisms.
12. Do I have to be baptized at Crossroads to be a member?
Nope. Crossroads does not have membership.