Baptism is one of the central events of a believer’s Christian life. Foreshadowed by the ritual cleansings performed by the Jewish community and the baptism of repentance administered by John the Baptist, Christian baptism is commanded for every believer. The Scripture institutes this act as an important ordinance in our life of obedient testimony (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Romans 6:4).
What should the mode be? Sprinkling, pouring, and immersing are used, but biblically, baptism by immersion is preferable, although sickness and immobility may require another method. Baptism is usually performed by someone of spiritual authority within the local church leadership.
Who should be baptized? At The Moody Church, we advocate believer’s baptism (credo-baptism). Everyone who professes Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior should be baptized (Acts 2:38). Those who do not believe, or are too young to confess Christ, are not baptized. As it is not a scripturally prescribed practice, infant baptism (paedobaptism) is considered insufficient in satisfying the command of Christ concerning baptism.
Baptism is not a magical event. By this, we mean that getting baptized will not miraculously save anyone, or cleanse us before God. Even the presence of a church leader to perform the act will not somehow infuse or convey saving grace to a person. Baptism is a physical representation of a spiritual reality.
Should you be rebaptized if you were baptized as an infant? We believe that the answer is yes. We know that there were rebaptisms in the book of Acts when one kind of baptism was not deemed acceptable (chapter 19). We realize that there are different understandings of the meaning of infant baptism, but we still encourage baptism in its proper time and mode.
Immersion signifies our death, burial and resurrection with Christ (Romans 6:1-4), and should be gladly embraced as an act of obedience by all who love Christ.