What is the Baptist view of baptism?
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
Baptism is central to what it means to be a Christian in the Baptist tradition.
Tom McKibbens, pastor of First Baptist Church in Worcester wrote in recent issue of The Vine:
“Believer’s baptism is administered after a confession of faith because Baptists believe in a regenerate church membership. Therefore baptism is administered after faith, not prior to it, and it must be a conscious, free, and voluntary act of the believer.
Baptists want to act out of their profound conviction that surrogate faith is not adequate.
The mode of baptism is also distinctive, for Baptists prefer the dipping of the whole body in water as a sign of identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.”
For most individuals baptized at Brewster Baptist this is a public confession of faith and their initiation into the church as members.
There are also individuals who may have been baptized as infants in another Christian tradition who wish to profess their faith publicly and to go through the waters of baptism as a confirmation of what someone else had done for them when they were weeks or months old.
This is not required by BBC because, although we believe strongly that believer’s baptism is the preferred mode of baptism, we also accept, as members, individuals who were baptized as infants, whose baptism was confirmed and whose lives have demonstrated the spiritual fruit of walking with Christ.
Romans 6:4 sums up the hope of our baptism: “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Having emerged dripping wet from the waters of baptism, the newly baptized are empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life, sharing their faith with others, using the spiritual gifts God has given them, always giving thanks to God for the unmerited love and grace they have received.
Whenever people are baptized, it is a reminder to all of us of the blessing we have been given to be children of God and the responsibility we have to live out our faith each day.