Believer’s Baptism by Immersion

Raised to New Life

Baptism has been debated among Bible-believing, gospel-centered churches for centuries. What does your church believe? Do you know why? In this 14-minute video, Josh Patterson clearly explains the theology of believer’s baptism—from what it is, to who its for, and how its administered. John Patterson is Lead Pastor of Ministry Leadership at The Village Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

What kind of baptism does your church practice—believer’s or infant? How do church leaders explain and educate congregants about their beliefs about baptism?
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What do you believe about baptism? Why? Why is it important for the church to distinguish between openhanded beliefs, like baptism, and essential beliefs, like the Trinity?
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Josh began by describing what believer's baptism is and what it represents.
What is believer’s baptism? 
  1. A declaration of the gospel
  2. Identification with Christ
  3. An illustration of the washing of sin and new life in Christ
  4. A demonstration of public obedience to Christ

Have you been baptized by immersion? What was the experience like? In what ways was it a declaration of the gospel and illustration of your new life in Christ?
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How does watching someone else’s baptism encourage your faith and move you to worship? Why does Jesus call Christians to publicly identify with Him?
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Josh said that just as a wedding ring points to the reality of marriage, believer’s baptism points to our spiritual reality in Christ. Did Josh’s analogy of the wedding ring help you better understand the function of believer’s baptism? Why or why not?
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Josh continued answering questions about believer’s baptism: 

What is baptism not?
  1. Baptism does not save, it is a response to God. 
  2. Baptism is not necessary for salvation.  
Why should someone be baptized?
  1. To obey Christ’s command to be baptized in Matthew 28:18-20.
  2. To display to others that you are a disciple of Christ.

He said, “Your salvation is sure, steadfast, and secure in the person and work of Christ and what he has done on your behalf. As you place your love and trust in Him, that is when it is secure.”

Were you ever taught, or did you ever assume, that baptism was a saving act and/or necessary for salvation? Did you learn anything new his explanation? Explain.
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Have you ever doubted your salvation? Why or why not? How does it comfort you to know that your salvation is secure in Christ alone?
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Lastly, Josh explained who should be baptized and how a person should be baptized. 

Who should be baptized?
Those who have professed faith in Christ (Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12). He said there is a clear and consistent pattern throughout the New Testament that baptism is in response to salvation.

How should one be baptized?
Immersion (Matthew 3:16). He said, “You go into the water and come out of the water…we feel like that paints the picture faithfully of what it symbolizes: the death and resurrection of Jesus.”  

Do you know anyone who believes differently than you about baptism? Do you think it could be helpful to dialogue with that person about your differences? Why or why not?
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In what ways will this teaching will help you counsel and teach people in your church about baptism?
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Just as a wedding ring points to the reality of marriage, believer’s baptism is a visible symbol of invisible grace. The Village Church statement says, “It signifies that a person’s former way of life has been put to death and depicts a release from the mastery of sin.” May we continue to grow in our understanding of baptism and approach it reverently and joyfully. 

To read for yourself what The Village Church believes about baptism and other theological distinctives, click here to review their Statement of Faith.