PREPARING FOR BAPTISM
Help me, O God, to be rightly
prepared to be baptized, to witness the baptism of others, and to reflect
biblically on my baptismal experience. Grant me assurance and grace to live the
new life that I have publicly embraced and expressed in baptism. Lord Jesus, assure
me that the pledge of a good conscience is mine as I consider my baptism rightly
received by faith in Christ. Amen.
we are baptized and when we are led to think back upon our baptism, we should
remind ourselves why we are baptized and how it can help us afterward.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
BAPTISM is an ordinance of the New Testament instituted by
Jesus Christ. It is intended to be, to the person baptized, a sign of his
fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection, and of his being
engrafted into Christ, and of the remission of sins. It also indicates that the
baptized person has given himself up to God, through Jesus Christ, so that he
may live and conduct himself in newness of life.
The only persons who can rightly submit themselves to this
ordinance are those who actually profess repentance towards God and faith in
our Lord Jesus Christ, being willing to yield obedience to Him.
The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water,
in which the believer is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Immersion, that is to say, the dipping of the believer in
water, is essential for the due administration of this ordinance. (2nd
our union with Christ, especially in his death and resurrection. [Rom. 6:3-5]
the washing away of our sins. [Acts
22:16, 1 Pet. 3:21]
the death of our old, sin-controlled self and new life granted by Christ
alone. [Rom. 6:5-6]
the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts
pledges our repentance from sin. [Acts
expresses our faith. [Col. 2:12]
publicly identifies us with Christ and His church. [1 Cor. 12:13]
engages and pledges us to live out the new life given to us in Christ. [Rom. 6:1-11]
powerfully meets us in baptism as his appointed means to confirm and strengthen
our graces for the Christian life. [Acts
22:16, Rom. 6:1-11, 1 Pet. 3:21]
SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
to baptism is for me if I have not been immersed as a public expression of
faith in Christ and repentance for sin and if I now desire to give myself up to
Christ by faith as the only Savior of sinners, to repent of my sins, and to
engage to walk according to the new life that Christ alone gives.
WHY SHOULD I THINK
UPON MY ALREADY-ACCOMPLISHED BAPTISM WHEN
I WITNESS ANOTHER BAPTISM?
of Scripture repeatedly refer to baptism to stir us up by way of reminder to
the blessings and duties that are signified by baptism. I am in need of being
stirred up by way of reminder.
Therefore, I should think upon my baptism as follows:
• As surely as I see with my eyes that
someone goes into and comes up out of the water, so I know for certain that
Christ died a real death, was buried, and was raised to life for the salvation
• As surely as I remember my own
baptism and the felt reality of going into and coming out of the water, so I
know for certain that in Christ I was crucified in my old nature and have been
raised with a new nature.
• As surely as I remember my own
baptism entered by faith, I have the pledge of a good conscience from God.
• As surely as I remember my own
baptism, I am forever engaged before God, the church, and the world to live
according to the new life promised by the gospel.
baptism is once for all and signifies a once-for-all salvation, the testimony
of my baptism stands firm to this day and means the very same things now that it
meant the day I was baptized.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR
ME TO BE BAPTIZED?
that I accept with a believing heart the death and burial and resurrection of
Christ for me. It signifies and affirms that by believing I am washed of all my
sins and am granted eternal life. It
means that I have come out in the open with an observable, life-long commitment
to follow Jesus Christ wherever He may lead.
This is not
magic. Baptism does not wash away my sins or grant me new life. Only Christ can
remove my sins, and that happens when I put my faith in Him. Baptism and faith are simply the outside and
the inside of the same thing. But Christ
has given me baptism, and I will not neglect His gift.
WHAT BENEFITS THEN DO
I RECEIVE BY BEING BAPTIZED?
that death and resurrection—both Christ’s and mine—are necessary to save
me. My secret and subjective faith is
given visible and concrete expression, and a clear beginning is made to the
Christian life. I am publicly received
into a family of believers who are gifted to help me live for Christ. I am assured and strengthened by the
sovereign work of Christ in this ceremony that He has ordained for my good.
WHY DOES JESUS APPPOINT
THE USE OF WATER?
teaching me that, just as water washes my body, so His
work of death and resurrection truly cleanses my soul. Because of my weakness he stoops to "dress"
the invisible work of grace in something I can feel and see and experience with
this visible sign and pledge to assure me that all that
He has done for me in His perfect obedience, suffering, and death is certainly
mine. I experience the water on my own body and am assured that what Jesus
gives to sinners is given to me personally.
WHAT SHOULD I THINK AS
THE BAPTISM IS PERFORMED?
As I go (or
someone else goes) into the water, I consider
that Christ took up a human body and Himself
that I cannot even baptize myself much
less save myself
that water only washes bodies but Christ
that only in Him do I have hope of
passing through the waters of judgment.
As I rise
(or someone else rises) out of the water, I consider
that Jesus raised Himself from the dead
of His own power
that He has washed me from the guilt of
that He has broken the power of sin in
that I have been inseparably united to Christ
that I have the indwelling Holy Spirit
to bring Christ’s powerful presence to me.
A PRAYER BEFORE MY BAPTISM
My Lord Jesus Christ, I am a sinner;
I long to be purified; I long to be done with my sin. Christ is my only hope. I embrace You and all that You offer me in the gospel. Strengthen my
faith, and grant me the grace to live for You. Help me from this day forward to manifest the
new life that only You give. With Your help, I pledge before the watching
world to be Yours forever. Meet
with me in these waters and assure me.
Pour out Your Spirit upon me that I may walk with Christ in joyful
obedience and persevere in faith to the end. Amen.
PRAYERS AFTER A BAPTISM
We thank You, Lord God, that You have blessed us with this powerful, precious gift. We ask for Your
gracious help, that You would strengthen and confirm the faith You have granted
and we have expressed in our baptism.
Help us to renew ourselves to a full-scale demonstration of the new life
you have accomplished for us in Christ and applied to us by the Holy
Spirit. Nurture a true unity among us
because of the common baptism we share. Amen.
Almighty and Ever-loving God, we
thank You that You have washed our consciences with
Your washing and have assured us of Your grace toward us. We thank You that we
are united to Christ and members of the Body with one another. Assist us with Your grace, so that we may continue in this holy fellowship,
and live more fully to Your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, keep my mind and heart focused
on the main thing in baptism. It is not the removal of dirt from the body that
brings such great benefits, but the working of Christ by faith and his pledge
to be with us in grace and power even to the end of the age.
Enable me to continue to believe
these truths so that I may have confidence that forgiveness of sins is mine and
that Christ will bring me safely to glory. Amen.
RESOURCES TO PREPARE FOR