“WATER BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN THAT WE WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH CHRIST.”
What is Baptism?
Water baptism is an outward expression of an inner transformation. It is a testimony and picture of the change that has occurred when you placed your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Baptism by immersion is a symbolic portrayal of our association with Jesus in His death and Resurrection. Baptism is the normal pattern for a new believer. It is the first step toward becoming firmly established in your commitment to Jesus. Baptism immediately following trusting Jesus as Savior is the New Testament pattern; therefore you should be baptized as soon as possible after you accept Jesus as your Savior. So West Side Community Church believes that candidates for baptism must have already received Jesus Christ as Savior. As long as a person is old enough to have made that choice in a responsible way with understanding, then that person is eligible for baptism.
The Importance of Baptism
We are commanded by God to believe and be baptized. In Acts 2:38, the apostle Peter told the people who heard his message of the gospel, “Repent and be baptized.” Other scriptures make it clear that we are saved apart from our baptism, but baptism is expected to follow our salvation.
Galatians 3:37 says, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.” When we are baptized, we put on the likeness of Christ and are identified with Him.
In Acts 2:41, it says that those who responded to the apostle Peter’s message by putting their faith in Jesus “…were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Baptism is a public testimony of your faith in Christ.
Water baptism is a symbol of the inner transformation that took place when you trusted Jesus as your Savior. The apostle Paul describes this in Colossians 2:12, “Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”
We believe the Bible teaches that baptism is for those who have already trusted Jesus as Savior. Because of this, West Side does not baptize infants. However, West Side gives parents the opportunity to publicly dedicate their children to God and to His service. The pastor will pray a blessing over the child and the congregation will join with the parents in committing themselves to helping the child come to know Christ and to serve Him.
To best prepare you for Infant Dedication, you will be invited to attend one of two orientation meetings. At this meeting, you’ll see what our Early Childhood program has to offer and how you can partner with us. We’ll take a few moments during our time to “imagine the end” and celebrate the reason you are choosing to dedicate your child. You will also receive all the details you need to ensure the dedication day runs smoothly for you and your family – well, smoothly as it can be when there are kids involved.