The Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The universal church of Jesus Christ is made up of every person who has been “born-again” (John 3:1-8) by God’s grace through their faith in Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-7). Water baptism is an outward act of obedience and a symbol that signifies that a person has in fact received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Jesus Himself modeled submission to water baptism at the hands of John at the beginning of His public ministry (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:19-34). In the Scriptures, water baptism always immediately followed a person’s conversion experience. Though water baptism does not “save” a person it signifies that they have been “saved” and shows their desire to be identified with Christ and affiliated with a local expression of His church.
Before, during and after the time of Jesus and the Apostles, the meaning of the Greek word used for Baptism in water is immersion. It is also evident in the New Testament accounts of persons being baptized that they were immersed. (Acts 8:38-39) A person being put under the water symbolizes their death to sin and self, the old way of living, and coming up out of the water symbolizes their resurrection with Christ to a new way of life. (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12)