Baptism at Genesis
What it is:
We invite you to take part in believers baptism here at Genesis Church. A moment for you to publicly identify yourself with Jesus in death and resurrection. We believe that baptism is obedience and a beautiful and sacred opportunity to display to the world, “I am a follower of a new way of living, the way of Jesus, and I commit to following this way of Jesus in the world God has placed me in.”
What it is not:
We do not believe that baptism saves you, or washes away your sin. It is obedience to Christ and we should desire to do so as quick as we can.
We are aware that there are people who come from different backgrounds with different concepts of baptism. Our belief here at Genesis is that baptism is by immersion and is a profession of faith after you have entered into the relationship God always intended to have with you. We also believe that baptism does not automatically make you a member of Genesis Church or of any other denomination.
As for children and infants we believe that water baptism is a sign/symbol of a person’s profession of faith and as a result feel it is confusing to perform water baptism on infants. Instead, we practice child dedications on infants and young children. When a child makes a choice to follow Jesus, they have the opportunity to declare to others that decision of trusting in Jesus through baptism as they begin to understand what it is truly about.
With baptism we look to discover what it meant in the context, history, and people from which we find it. Our theology and understanding of baptism comes from the desire to explore what it meant for Jesus, his followers, and the first church. Our only response is to model that as closely as we possibly can.
Why do it?
John 4:1-2 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
Matthew 28:17 Go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38, 41 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you… Those who accepted his message were baptized, *Acts 2:38 8:16 10:48 19:5
Paul teaches us what this new meaning of baptism when he writes…
Romans 3:3-4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism 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.
When do I do It?
As soon as possible! In scripture we find that those who believed were baptized right away. They did not wait! They responded immediately, declaring to the world that a new way of life had begun:
Acts 7:34-28 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
This symbolic, sacred act of immersing oneself into water (baptism) took on new meaning for the early believers. We find Jesus being baptized and had his disciples do the same for others. We also find that Jesus commands us to baptize others and the early church carrying out this command.