Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-41; Romans 6:1-4 (cf. Ephesians 4:17-32 & Colossians 3:1-17); 1 Peter 3:21-22
Above are some of the key verses in the New Testament regarding baptism. Reading these verses, you’ll notice that baptism is…
If you read through the book of Acts, you’ll see that baptism is the NORMAL response for those deciding to become followers of “the Way” (i.e. Jesus, Christianity, etc.). Technically, baptism is the “initiatory rite” of Christianity. In other words, once a person has made a decision to follow Jesus, they indicate this, formally, by being baptized.
At Crossroads, we practice what is known as “believer’s baptism.” This is one of the very few distinctives that we have which set us apart from some other Christians. While our position is based on a comprehensive study of Scripture, I think Matthew 28:18-20 makes the point. Jesus commands us to “make disciples” and to “baptize them.” Simply put, the person being baptized is a “disciple” (literally “follower”) of Jesus.
Who should be baptized? You should be baptized if you have made a decision to be a follower of Jesus, and
What does a person need to know in order to be baptized? You don’t need to be a trained theologian in order to be a candidate for baptism. You need to understand the basics of the gospel (Jesus died for your sins and rose again) and the uniqueness of Jesus (he is God’s “one and only Son,” the “way, the truth, the life” etc.). Further, in baptism, you are making a commitment to be a follower (“disciple”) of Jesus. In other words, you are accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord. (See the Ephesians and Colossians passages listed above for what this means in some very specific and practical terms.)
When I baptize people, I ask 4 simple questions:
If your answer is “yes” to these four questions and you have never been baptized, then you need to be baptized.