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ValleyPoint Baptism FAQ’s

#1: What is the Meaning of Baptism?

Baptism means identification. It is a clear picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. “For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ (Colossians 2:12).

Baptism illustrates new life as a follower of Jesus and paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life. “When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17)!”

New Testament baptism communicates to a watching world all that Jesus accomplished for us.

#2: Does Baptism Save?

Baptism does not save. Faith in Jesus alone is the only means of salvation.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”

Baptism is like a wedding ring — it is the outward sign of an inward spiritual change. “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes (Galatians 3:17).” Baptism is a public way to share a person’s personal story of trusting in the work of Jesus.

#3: Who should be baptized?

Every person who has believed in Jesus alone to save them should be baptized. “Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized… (Acts 2:4)”

Believers are those who have realized that their sin has separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus’ death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Jesus alone for his or her salvation.

Once a person admits that he or she is a sinner and turns to Jesus for salvation, the Bible says that a person should proclaim their story of life change; the watching world needs to know. Baptism has always stood as a public testimony of people who have moved from being a seeker to being a believer in Jesus.

#4: Why should I be baptized?

To follow the example set by Jesus. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river (Mark 1:9).”

To follow the command given by Jesus. “Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).’” Baptism is the means by which followers of Jesus are identified.

#5: When should I be baptized?

As soon as possible. “Those who believed…were baptized…that day (Acts 2:4)!”

Baptism events in Acts demonstrate the belief that baptism is to take place after conversion. For example, in Acts 8:26–39, Philip baptizes an Ethiopian eunuch who has just come to faith in Jesus through reading the narrative of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. Likewise, in Acts 9:17–18, Ananias baptized Paul (formerly Saul) after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus.

In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47-48, it is evident that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation.

#6: Why does ValleyPoint practice baptism by immersion?

Baptism by immersion effectively symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Going under the water represents Jesus’ death and burial; coming out of the water illustrates his resurrection.

In the New Testament, the Greek word that is translated as “baptize” is baptizo. This word usually means, “to immerse, sink, drown, or go under.”

Romans 6:4 – the word “buried” implies immersion.

The immersion mode of baptism effectively identifies the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

While immersion is not explicitly commanded in Scripture, it is the mode ValleyPoint Church has chosen to practice.

#7: Does ValleyPoint practice infant baptism?

ValleyPoint does not practice infant baptism. We wait until children are old enough to make the personal choice to trust in Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism.

The New Testament nowhere explicitly commands Christians to baptize their infant children. In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them, but he did not baptize them.

Not only is infant baptism not mentioned in the pages of Scripture, it is not explicitly mentioned in documents from the early church.

Infant baptism is often a reflection of the parent’s faith. It is a choice they are making for their child. The beauty of baptism for those who have made a decision to trust Jesus alone is that it is a personal choice – it is an expression of their faith. ValleyPoint encourages those who were baptized as infants to be re-baptized as believers. Doing this does not repudiate the baptism you received as a child nor does it make that event any less meaningful to your family.

#8: Is baptism required for membership at ValleyPoint?

As established in ValleyPoint’s by-laws, baptism by immersion is required for membership. Article 6.02 lists qualifications for membership. “Candidates may be included into membership upon professing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the completion of the Membership Class, baptism by immersion, and signing and abiding in the Church Membership Covenant.”

It is important to note that baptism is not required for salvation (see question #2). For the sake of unity and member engagement, it is required for membership at ValleyPoint.

 

Our Intention: By our statements on baptism we do not intend to identify our church with any churches or Christian leaders who have come to similar conclusions. Our only goal is to be responsive to God’s call for our church to be the body he has called us to be. We have prayerfully sought his wisdom on these matters so that we would do nothing that could possibly hinder God’s work in our church. We respect those who disagree with our position. It is our hope and prayer that this will not become a divisive issue. We are committed to explaining and discussing our conclusions in a spirit of unity and love that strives to remain focused on the primary mission of our church: “pointing people to real relationships and real significance.”