If you have committed your life to God and accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, congratulations! You’ve made the most incredible decision of your life. At Pathway, we believe it’s important to demonstrate your covenant with God through water baptism. This is a special celebration and a milestone in your life – something we invite your friends and family to attend.
Members of Pathway who have accepted Christ and would like to be baptized are invited to do so at one of our special baptism services. Our next Baptism Weekend is Saturday and Sunday, May 6 & 7, 2017. Click here to register.
Baptism is an act of obedience. We baptize new believers in obedience to Jesus’ command. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20 (NASB) We call these verses “The Great Commission.” In them, Jesus commands His followers to take the message of the good news about Jesus into the entire world. The command to baptize followers of Jesus is a very important part of this command.
Baptism is an act of discipleship. We baptize new believers because Jesus was Himself baptized by His cousin John. When we are baptized, it’s an act of following Jesus, an act of discipleship. This is what discipleship means—to follow Jesus. Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Matthew 3:13–17 (NASB)
Baptism was the practice of the early church. When we obey the Lord by following Him in baptism, we are following the pattern of the early church we find in the book of Acts. Acts is a historical book in the New Testament, which recounts the story of the first followers of Jesus. The following Scriptures are some of the examples found in the New Testament of Christians being baptized: Acts 2:36–38; 2:41; 8:36–38; 10:47–48; 16:30–34.
Baptism is a watery grave. Baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, yet baptism is more than symbolic. It is a spiritually significant work of living faith, whereby we bury the “old man” (Romans 6:6). We are included in Jesus’ suffering and triumph when we first believe. When we are baptized, we are baptized into Jesus’ death and the waters of baptism become for us a watery grave. The person we used to be exists no more! The old “us” has been buried! What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Romans 6:1–7 (NASB)
Baptism is a sign of God’s Covenant made without hands. God relates to His people through covenant. When God established His covenant with Abraham, there was a sign of covenant given—circumcision. In the new covenant God has established with us through Jesus, baptism is the outward sign of our inclusion in the covenant. And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. Colossians 2:11–12 (NASB)
Baptism is pictured in the story of Moses, Israel and the parting of the Red Sea. When God delivered His people Israel out of bondage in Egypt, they passed miraculously through the parted waters of the Red Sea. They passed through out of slavery into freedom and a new life. The chariots of Egypt were drowned in those same waters. This is a great picture of Christian baptism. When we trust in Christ, we are liberated from our bondage to sin and selfishness and set free to live the new resurrection life of Jesus. When we are baptized, we pass through the waters from slavery into freedom and our old life is destroyed much like Pharaoh’s armies.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 1 Corinthians 10:1–2 (NASB)