Being baptized the way that Jesus was baptized is an awesome, joyful experience! Forest Park has the joy of baptizing over 2,500 people in the past two decades. These people tell us that God did something special in their hearts when they followed the example of Jesus to get baptized. Because there are different traditions and beliefs about baptism, we want to share how the scripture answers questions you may have about this wonderful event.
Questions About Baptism
Why should I be baptized?
1. Because you want to follow Christ’s example.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river. -Mark 1:9
2. Because Christ commands it.
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
3. Because everyone who followed Jesus in the New Testament got baptized.
In the Book of Acts everyone who became a follower of Jesus was baptized (Acts 2:41, Acts 8:38, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, etc.)
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. -1 John 2:3
What is the meaning of baptism?
1. It illustrates Christ’s 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
2. It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
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
Baptism does not make you a believer; It shows that you already are one! Baptism does not “save” you; only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like the wedding ring–it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.
Why be baptized by immersion?
1. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. -Matthew 3:16
2. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
Now John was also baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. -John 3:23
3. The word baptize means to “dip under water.”
4. It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection!
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. -Romans 6:4
Who should be baptized?
Every person who has made the decision to believe in Christ.
Those who believed and accepted his message were baptized that day! -Acts 2:41
When should I be baptized?
As soon as you have believed, or as soon as you recognize its importance. You should not delay!
Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good New about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?” Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The official 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. -Acts 8:36-39, paraphrased
What about being baptized twice?
Forest Park recommends that you be baptized again if you have not been baptized by immersion since you became a believer. It doesn’t devalue a prior experience, but simply reflects your desire to be baptized in the same way Jesus was baptized. Think of your first baptism as the engagement ring and your own decision to be baptized the way Jesus was baptized as the wedding band.
May families be baptized together?
Yes! If each family member understands fully the meaning of baptism, and each one has personally placed his/her trust in Christ for salvation, we encourage families to be baptized at the same time. It is a wonderful expression of commitment.
Will I have to say anything?
No! The act of being baptized tells the story of your faith that Jesus died and rose again and that you have been raised to new spiritual life. Words aren’t necessary!
Instructions for Your Baptism
We are very happy that you want to follow the Lord’s example in baptism. Thousand of people like yourself have been baptized by our pastors in pools, lakes, creeks, as well as our baptistry.
There is plenty of room around our baptistry area for your friends and relatives to celebrate your baptism with you. To schedule your baptism, fill out the form below, and we will contact you.
If an outdoor baptism is desired, we will schedule a time for your baptism. We also have bi-annual river baptisms (Easter Sunday and the last Sunday in August) at the low-water bridge on Shoal Creek.
We will provide you a baptism t-shirt to wear and to keep as a memento of this special day. Towels will be provided. Also, plan on bringing a change of underclothing and a plastic bag to take your wet stuff home.
The pastor will baptize one person at a time, but families may enter the baptistry or the river together.
Kids will be interviewed by a member of Forest Park Kids before being baptized. Contact the Kids Minister on your campus if you would like someone to speak with your child.
Don’t be surprised when people clap at your baptism. It is a happy experience for every Christian when someone publicly identifies himself as a believer by being baptized.
Your baptism certificate will be mailed to you in approximately two weeks.