At Hope Bible Church Markham, we practice two ordinances – baptism and communion. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Water baptism is a public acknowledgment that the person is no longer dead in his/her sins, but now is alive in Christ. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:18). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
If you are not sure what this means, please contact us at the church and we will explain this further.
Please include a written testimony along with your Baptism applicationBaptism Application Form
Attend an interview with one of the church leaders to discuss your decision to be baptized.
Attend the scheduled baptismal service bringing with you your written testimony, a swimsuit and a towel.
The Bible teaches that only those who have become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are to be baptized. The Bible specifically states that baptism is for those who have first believed. Acts 8:36-38 says, “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?’ And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he replied, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Notice that the condition for baptism was believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since this is limited to those who are old enough to understand, it follows that baptism is limited to those who have personally crossed the bridge to faith in Jesus Christ.
Every mention of baptism in the Bible is associated with salvation. Our conclusion is that baptism is only for followers of Christ. New parents often wonder about having their baby baptized. As we look at the Bible, we find that there are no examples of infant baptism. All examples are based on personal faith.
Every example of baptism in the Bible was immediately following salvation. For example, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) new believers were baptized on the very same day. The man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:36- 38) was baptized immediately after understanding the message explained by Philip, and following Saul’s conversion (Acts 9:17-18), he was baptized within a few days. So, it would seem that baptism should occur as soon as is practical after making the decision to follow Christ.
Concerning children and baptism we know from experience that they often receive Christ at an early age. Since we wish for them to make sure of their salvation, we do not encourage children to be baptized until the parents and our children’s workers are assured they have a clear understanding of the message and their relationship with Jesus Christ. It is important that the child not only has received Christ, but that the child has chosen for himself/herself to be baptized. As a general rule, we encourage children to wait until their junior high years (age 11+) before being baptized.
Baptism is a step of obedience for a Christ-follower, and symbolizes for the world, identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although it is clear from the Bible that baptism is not necessary for salvation, what is also clear is that it is a required step of obedience and an evidence of having received the new life. The Bible says that, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 3:21). In other words, baptism is a matter of clear conscience before God and an evidence of what has already occurred in your heart. Further, in the story of the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43), Jesus told the condemned man that he would be with Him in paradise. This man repented and believed while dying without an opportunity for baptism, yet he too received the promise of eternity, showing that baptism is not necessary for salvation.
The meaning of baptize is “to completely immerse something.” The examples of baptism recorded in Scripture always imply immersion (Mark 1:10; Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39). Submerging one in the water and lifting them from it gives the most vivid picture of salvation (Romans 6:3-4).
Baptism is a beautiful and special event in the life of a believer and in the life of the church. While it is a simple ceremony, it will also be one of the most memorable spiritual milestones in a new Christ-follower’s journey with God.
The following information is helpful in knowing what happens on the day of the baptism:
Those being baptized are to bring a towel and swimsuit. A large, dark coloured T-shirt will be provided. Just prior to the service, all of those being baptized, those performing the baptizing and the baptismal workers meet to pray and answer any last minute questions. The workers are there to assist you in preparing. During the baptism itself, each candidate steps into the baptismal tank. The one performing the baptism will introduce the candidate to the congregation. The candidate will share a brief testimony, answer two questions confirming their salvation and their desire to be baptized, and then be baptized. The process of being baptized is simple. With gentle but firm support, the person being baptized slips under the water for a brief moment. The person baptizing assists the person in coming up out of the water. Baptism can be a very special event for family and friends who should be invited to witness this important day in your life.
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