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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We believe baptism is important. It's a first step of obedience commanded by Jesus and a sign of our union with Him and His church. Therefore, we encourage every believer to be baptized.
The idea of a non-baptized Christian in the times of the New Testament was completely foreign. In fact, in many of Paul’s writings, he uses baptism into Christ as a euphemism for salvation (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27). This serves to reinforce that baptism, while not being necessary for salvation, is the natural outflow and result of salvation. In other words, all of God’s people, at all times, in all places, should pursue baptism as an expression of obedience to Scripture and the God who authored it.
Baptism, along with communion, are the two “traditions” (often called ordinances or sacraments) that Jesus taught and modeled for his followers. Baptism is the “initiation party” into God’s new covenant family. It is a sign and mark of our spiritual union with Jesus. It publicly declares our faith. It pictures Christ's burial and resurrection and our identification with Him.
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you… Christ died for our sins...he was buried...and he was raised on the third day."
1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4
"...having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."
"But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News . . . they were baptized, both men and women."
Who should be baptized?
Baptism is an outward proclamation of faith, and is therefore only for believers. Our understanding is that every baptism in the New Testament was preceded by confession of sin and repentance, which is something that neither an unbeliever nor an infant can do. Because baptism represents a union with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we believe only in the baptism of confessed believers.
How old should my child be? Is there a minimum age for baptism?
At CC, we take this on a case by case basis. Jesus honored child-like faith and nevertheless there does need to be evidence of faith in Christ, and a clear understanding of the Gospel. We do not set a minimum age across the board. We walk through this with parents together, prayerfully and with discernment.
What about re-baptism after infant baptism?
“I was baptized as an infant. Should I be immersed now?” Different denominations have varied understandings of infant baptism. In Roman Catholicism, it is often associated with removal of original sin (an unbiblical idea), but this is not the understanding in other traditions like Presbyterianism and Anglicanism. We do not require immersion for membership at CC (though we encourage it if one has not been baptized). In honor of our brothers and sisters who have a biblical convictions concerning infant baptism, we welcome them, but will continue to teach believer’s baptism by immersion. Some who were baptized as infants may choose to be re-baptized. Others may not.
Who will baptize me?
Typically, a pastor or an elder. Sometimes a child’s teacher or a leader within our student ministry will baptize kids.
If you are interested in pursuing baptism further, or if you have questions and you’d like to talk further, please reach out to us! We’d love to walk alongside you in this important step.