Baptisim at Legacy City
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
To begin with, baptism is NOT salvation. Although we believe that baptism is not necessary to attain salvation, it is the natural overflow and result of such redemption. It is an outward representation of an inward decision to follow Christ; it is an expression of obedience to Scripture and God.
We practice baptism by immersion, so on a physical level, baptism is a follower of Jesus being submerged under water (for a mere split second) to identify with the death and burial of Jesus and raised out of the water to identify with His resurrection. Baptism is viewed as a celebration at Legacy City, so while being baptized, we welcome family and close friends to come and stand behind you to encourage and affirm the action.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT BAPTISM?
We believe that the command to be baptized can clearly be found in Scripture. For example, see the Great Commission as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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
Next, see Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, found in Acts 2.
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
Later in Acts, Peter commands the Gentiles to be baptized, in addition to believing Jews.
47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. Acts 10:47-48
There are many more instances where baptism is discussed in Scripture, but for the sake of time we can leave it at these obvious commands to baptize and be baptized.
WHEN DO I GET BAPTIZED?
As soon as you come to know Jesus, or anytime thereafter. There is no statute of limitations on when one can get baptized, whether you came to trust in Jesus yesterday or two decades ago, the time is now. Believers in the New Testament were baptized the same day. As soon as a person decides to believe in Christ, he can be, and is encouraged to be baptized. We see an example of this in Acts 8:35-39.
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
WHO CAN BAPTIZE PEOPLE AT LEGACY CITY?
Scripture is oddly silent on the idea of who can baptize. Traditionally, some may lean on the idea that it must be an ordained male pastor that baptizes, and while Pastor Robbie does many of the baptisms at Legacy City, we do not hold to that as the only means of baptism as Scriptural. In fact, we see in Scripture that often Jesus was not doing the baptizing, his disciples were. (John 4:2)
We find that there are really only three requirements of one that can baptize others: a person must profess faith in Christ, have been previously baptized following conversion themselves, and be involved with a local church (not necessarily Legacy City). The Great Commission even commands all of us to go out and baptize. So with that being said, a person is welcome to be baptized by a pastor, an elder, a parent, a mentor - whoever meets those requirements can baptize, male or female, ordained or not.
Sign up for the next Baptism Sunday here. If you have other questions about baptism, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.