Baptism is an important step for a believer who seeks to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. We, at Hill Country Bible Church, uphold the act of baptism as a sacred, uncompromising injunction of the Scripture. Every believer, serious in his or her faith, will also be serious about baptism. It is the “badge” of our identity with Christ. In many ways, baptism is to Christianity what a ring is to marriage.
Our method of baptism is the method of immersion. We believe that this mode is the one presented in the New Testament for the following reasons:
- The Greek word for baptism means “to submerge, plunge, drench, saturate, dip” (Arndt and Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament p.131).
- Immersion followed the Jewish proselyte practice.
- Immersion most practically pictures the symbolism intended in baptism. [See Romans 6:4]
- The practice of the early church was immersion.
WHY should you be baptized?
The command of Scripture is “be baptized.” By it we both please the Lord and declare His reality in our lives to the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
A picture is worth a thousand words. The picture portrayed in baptism declares a variety of scriptural truths:
- It proclaims Christ’s death and resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:1-4)
- It serves public notice to the world of one’s new life in Christ. (Matthew 10:32)
- It pictures a believer’s death to sin and his/her resurrection to a spiritual life and lifestyle through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:3-7, 10-11)
WHO can be baptized?
Hill Country Bible Church believes scriptures teach that one must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be baptized.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” (Revelation 3:20)
A believer is someone who has trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his/her sins and the gift of eternal life.
WHEN can one be baptized?
It is very important that a believer be able to verbalize this newfound faith with others, so we encourage the sharing of a testimony as a part of the baptism process. We would like anyone who desires baptism to be able to share personally how they received Christ, and what He has done in their life.
Young children need to fully understand the importance of what baptism signifies and how it relates to their Christian walk. Waiting for the time when they understand this would be more meaningful to them as new believers.
WHO will baptize me?
The Pastors of Hill Country Bible Church are always ready and willing to baptize church members. Sometimes, however, there are other people who have played a significant role in your coming to Christ, or in your spiritual development. You may ask one or more of them to participate with you in the baptism. A pastor of Hill Country will oversee the baptism, but welcomes significant others to be involved. If you desire to have someone other than a pastor baptize you, this person must be approved in advance (by our Senior Pastor). For adults and teens, it would be helpful to have this person attend your testimony meeting (usually one week before baptism) and any subsequent informational meetings leading up to the baptism.
HOW is the baptism conducted?
When it is your turn, you will be asked to enter the water and stand facing the congregation. The pastor will ask you to share briefly how you trusted in Christ. When that is complete, he will usually say: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, after which he will immerse you in the water. (You may hold your nose!)
WHAT should I bring to the baptism?
Yourself (You may wear any conservative clothing you want to be baptized in). Significant others who would like to share in this occasion. A change of clothes and towel.