Introduction to Baptism
Baptism is something we encourage everyone who is a Christian to do, because it is something Jesus tells us to do. There is a lot we could say about baptism here, but we will just cover a few basic things, both practical things and spiritual things.
What actually happens when someone is baptised is that they are taken into some water (a pool, river, our own baptistry at the Hub), and then they are completely submerged before being brought up again. This is how someone is baptised. Often it will happen as part of one of our regular church gatherings in our building, but sometimes it happens away from the building in the sea, a swimming pool or a back garden. It also does not have to be someone special, or a leader in a church, who baptises you. Anyone who has themselves followed Jesus and been baptised can do it.
For us, far more important than how and where baptism is done is the reason for it. Baptism is not what makes someone a Christian – it is a response that someone who has become a Christian makes to God in obedience to Him. That’s why, before someone is baptised at Gold Hill, they are asked two simple questions:
- Do you love Jesus?
- Will you follow Him for the rest of your life?
If the answer to both of those questions is ‘yes!’ then you can be baptised!
But what exactly does it signify? When someone is plunged down into the pool, it is a visible demonstration that their old life has died. Just as Jesus Himself was killed and buried, so we put to death our old self which is marked by our own failures. But then as we are brought back out of the water, we rise up into the new life that Jesus has won for us. When He rose again, it meant we can each have new life. So the symbol of baptism is a way of remembering and declaring the story of what Jesus has done for each of us.
What about you?
If you haven’t been baptised and would like to explore it, please get in touch and we’d love to have a conversation with you.