Sunday we will observe the Ordinance of Baptism. Someone may ask why the Ridge Church baptizes by immersion and why we do not baptize infants? I refer to FAQ’s on the SBC website for explanation (www.sbc.net/faqs.asp).
Southern Baptists have historically held to the mode of baptism that we believe to be the most consistent with the Bible – believer’s baptism by immersion.
When Jesus gave His command in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples, the directive was to baptize those new believers/disciples, and the word for baptism was literally “to immerse.” It was a practice reserved for those who had decided to follow Him. Baptism is not salvation. It is an act of obedience following salvation.
Baptizing a believer by immersion conveys the picture of a person dying with Christ, being buried with Him, and being raised with Him in a new life (Romans 6:3,4). This act is a voluntary declaration to all witnesses that the person has openly and unreservedly placed his/her faith in the Lord and will follow Him.
When a person is baptized as a baby, he/she has no knowledge of the Lord, repentance, salvation, discipleship, or any of the essentials related to following Him. This baptism may be meaningful to the family and may convey their deepest desire to dedicate that baby fully to the Lord, but because a baby cannot make such choices, baptism could not convey these essential truths directly associated with a believer’s baptism. If you have questions or thoughts please contact me.
We Labor Together with God, Wes