“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…” – Matthew 28.19.
What is West Village Church’s View of Baptism?
We believe that baptism (and communion) are visible presentations of the gospel performed regularly by the church. They have historically been called “sacraments” (a sign or visible form of grace) because they are visible, outward symbols of invisible spiritual realities. Baptism publicly identifies believers with Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection on their behalf, and in obedience to his command are immersed in water (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:41) symbolizing dying to one's self and rising to new life (Romans 6:1-6). Baptism was commanded by Jesus as an initial act of discipleship and in the early church was done upon a persons conversion to Christ (Acts 2.38-41; 8.12). There was no such thing as an unbaptized Christian in the first century. Practically speaking, we think it is best that believers be baptized immediately upon credible profession of faith in Jesus.
Do You Have to be Baptized to be Saved?
Many people ask this question. Is it necessary to be baptized? The short answer is no. The man who was crucified with Jesus was not baptized, and yet Jesus said “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23.43). It should be pointed out that this man is not the paradigmatic model of discipleship however. He is more of an exception because of the circumstance. The Bible and history make it clear that if one is a follower of Christ, they should seek out baptism with joy and excitement for in it they identify with Jesus’ death and resurrection.In the New Testament, baptism is also connected to Christian discipleship. Our life which includes both walking away from the “old self” as Paul calls it later, and walking in the “newness of life” is outwardly symbolized by baptism.
Do I have to be Baptized again if I was Baptized as an Infant?
We practice Believers Baptism. This means we believe that baptism is done when someone is old enough to have made their own decision to follow Christ. So, if a person has been baptized as an infant we encourage them to be baptized as an adult. We are not, however, legalistic about this, and we do not make anyone get baptized. We simply teach it and practice it as a joyous step of obedience to Jesus and hope and pray that everyone who calls Jesus Lord will listen to his call on their life in this way.
Planting your Flag
We are always excited to do baptisms because for many people their story and walk with God is made up of ups and downs, and when they start to get serious about discipleship this is often what God calls them to, and for them it becomes a “planting their flag.” A day, a moment they can look back to, when they made public what was private, or non-existent, until then. And that is precisely how the imagery works in the Bible as well.
How Do I Get Baptized?
If you would like to be baptized all you need to do is to let your Community Groupleader know. He will follow up with you and make sure that all the details get dealtwith from there. If you are not in a Community Group please email us at [email protected]