Joyfully we welcome you into the Body of Christ through the sacrament of baptism!
What is the purpose of baptism?
Water cleanses, purifies, refreshes and sustains: Baptism points us towards Jesus Christ who is the Living Water. Through Baptismal Water we are baptized “into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The Father seals us into His covenant of grace; the Son washes away our sins through His cleansing blood; and the Holy Spirit promises that He will dwell in us. Baptism is an outward sign and seal of receiving this beautiful gift!
What is One Baptism in Two Moments Over Time?
Baptism (baptizo) is first and foremost about being in relationship with our Triune God. Secondarily, baptism is about rites (sprinkling and immersion). An examination of the numerous ways in which the word baptizo is used in the New Testament will yield at least 12 different meanings for baptizo. All of these meanings are less about the ritual act, and much more importantly, the desire to symbolize and represent spiritual truths. A full Biblical view involves one baptism into Jesus Christ with two parts (covenant and believer) separated by time.
One baptism in two moments over time combines infant covenant baptism and believer baptism as a full expression from both the Old and New Testaments. God’s covenant reminds us that He has created, selected and chose us to be His sons and daughters!
Sprinkling of infants is based on the covenantal perspective of God’s promises of special care for children of believers. It acknowledges the richness of the imagery of sprinkling of infants as a celebration and reception of God’s covenant promises by the parents and to God’s people regarding the child and cleansing, washing in the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. This invitation into God’s covenant is celebrated with hopeful anticipation for the infant’s response to God’s covenant graces later in life. We believe this is a gift, but not necessary for salvation.
When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior and makes a public confession of faith, immersion brings to fruition this personal response. The one being baptized chooses to die to self and rise to new life in Christ; making a commitment to walk with God.
What is Third Church’s response to baptism?
Joyfully we welcome you into the Body of Christ and invite you to participate in one baptism in two moments over time! We promise to love and support baptized brothers and sisters by providing transformational teaching of the Word of God, encouraging believers to be led by the Holy Spirit, being an example of Christian faith and character, and by providing the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, discipleship, prayer and service.