What is baptism?

It is an outward expression of an inward reality:
When a person is “born again” (John 3:3) through faith in Christ, an inner transformation takes place in that person; the Bible says, “the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Baptism signifies that inward change with an outward demonstration. [God] saved us by the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

It illustrates the Christ follower's identification with Jesus in death, burial, and resurrection:
Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We are therefore buried with him into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life(Romans 6:34).
Baptism by immersion vividly depicts the change that has taken place in a new Christ follower's life. As he or she goes under the water, it imitates burial...and as he or she is raised up out of the water, it signifies the person's resurrection to a new life in Christ.

It illustrates spiritual cleansing:
The Jewish miqva, the precursor to Christian baptism, was a ritual cleansing ceremony, symbolizing the washing away of impurities and sins. Baptism, likewise, symbolizes cleansing from sin. Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).

It symbolizes my acceptance in the worldwide church:
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Jewish miqva, the precursor to Christian baptism, was also part of the “initiation” ceremony for converts to Judaism. Similarly, Christian baptism marks a person's acceptance into the Body of Christ, the true church made up of all Christians around the world and throughout eternity



How should I be baptized?
Churches answer this question in different ways. At Cobblestone, while we view other modes of baptism as valid, our preferred method is by immersion, for several reasons, among which are: the Greek word baptize means, literally, “to immerse” every Biblical example of baptism depicts immersion immersion most fully represents the Biblical significance of baptism (burial and resurrection, etc.) Jesus was baptized by immersion (see Matthew 3:16).

When should I be baptized?
As soon as possible if you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and have gained an understanding of the meaning of baptism. In the Bible, people were baptized very soon after becoming Christfollowers (see Acts 2:41, Acts 8:3538).

By whom should I be baptized?
Jesus' command is for his followers to baptize new followers. Therefore, you can certainly be baptized by a pastor, but you can also be baptized by any other Christfollower, such as the person who shared Christ with you, a person who discipled you, a parent, etc. If necessary, this person can be instructed by a Cobblestone pastor on the actual performance of the baptism.

Do I have to be a Cobblestone member to be baptized?
No. Baptism at Cobblestone is not about church membership, but about faith in Christ. Therefore, if you have personally trusted Christ for salvation and have experienced new life through faith in him, you are eligible to be baptized, even if you're not a member of our church.

What if I was batized as an infant?
Many people were baptized as infants; this ceremony is a covenant that believing parents make with God for their child. If your parents had you baptized as an infant and reared you to love and follow Christ, you should be very grateful! If you decide to follow Christ in baptism as an adult, that does not diminish your previous baptism or dishonor your parents' efforts at all. In fact, your baptism to signify your adult profession of faith in Jesus Christ can be seen as a fulfillment of those prayers and commitments your parents made on your behalf when you were too young to make such decisions yourself. Each of us has the privilege of responding to Jesus' call to baptism ourselves, of our own volition.

What should I tell me parents?
If your parents had you baptized as an infant, we would recommend that you first express your appreciation for the interest and care they took in your spiritual development from the youngest age. Then you might add that now that you have made a commitment to following Christ fully and intentionally for the rest of your life, you would like to signify your decision with adult baptism, adding that your decision actually fulfills the prayers they prayed and the covenant they made on your behalf those years ago. Many parents are thrilled to attend their children's adult baptism once they understand this.

Can my children be baptized?
If your child is old enough to understand the significance of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross, and has placed his or her faith in Jesus (which can happen at an early age, depending on the child's individual development), and understands the meaning of the baptism ceremony itself, then they are eligible for baptism. Of course, the older a child is, the more likely they are to fully appreciate the significance of what they are doing, and the more meaningful it will be for them.

What if I was baptized once before? Should I be baptized again?
As long as you were a Christ follower when you were baptized, you don't need to be baptized again. If, however, you were baptized only as a ritual before you really came to know and follow Christ, then baptism would be a good step for you. Also, for various reasons, people sometimes feel a strong desire to reenact their baptism at some point as they were first baptized as an adult. At Cobblestone, we arrange a “renewal of baptism” ceremony, that reminds a person of their baptism and helps them to renew the commitments and intentions they made public at that time.

What if I am handicapped, shy or afraid of water?
Simply let one of our pastoral staff know of your desire to be baptized and of your special circumstances, and they will do everything they can to accommodate you. Your circumstances do not need to stand between you and a meaningful baptism.

How do I arrange for a batism at Cobblestone?
You can arrange for baptism at Cobblestone by contacting a member of the pastoral staff. Their contact information is published in the weekend programs and on the website.

Baptism at Cobblestone
A decision to be baptized may be one of the most important decisions you will make as a follower of Jesus Christ. Thank you for considering sharing this important decision with us! 

baptism invite