Book: The True Meaning of Christian Baptism

Baptism is one of the most profound events that can take place in a person’s life. As an irrevocable covenant wherein the believer symbolically dies in a watery grave, baptism is your pledge to be faithful to the end. If you are faithful to the end, you will receive eternal life, with eternal glory and splendor, at the first resurrection when Jesus returns.

Baptism is not an initiation, nor does it signify that you have joined some organization. Rather, in baptism you are immersed into the very body of Christ. Thus, baptism is a serious undertaking to consider.

In preparing for baptism, you need to carefully reflect on your life, examining how you have lived—and foster a deep desire to change your former ways. You can accomplish this by making God a part of your daily life now—praying, studying the Bible, and yielding to Him in every way. Count the cost. Ask yourself: Are you willing to give up your whole self in the “death” of baptism to receive the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life? Are you willing to commit yourself to a life of obedience to God’s commandments, to growth and to overcoming?

If you desire to be baptized, you should be properly counseled to determine whether you have truly repented to God and have accepted Christ as your personal Savior. Such counseling is important in determining whether an individual has the fruits of repentance and a genuine desire to live God’s way of life. Of course, only God can know the heart. A minister cannot truly know your heart—but can only offer counsel and come to a reasonable conclusion that you are truly repentant in your desire to be baptized.

If you are being called by God, you must respond by stepping out in faith and beginning to live His way of life. Then He will lead you to repentance and baptism.

What Takes Place at Baptism?

At baptism, you and the minister will both enter the water, which must be sufficient for total immersion. The minister will then ask you some important questions concerning your commitment and readiness for baptism. You will be told that you are not being baptized into any organization, but into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (because it comes from the Father).

Following a prayer affirming your commitment to God, the immersion takes place. After you come up out of the water, the minister will apply the laying on of hands and ask God for the begettal of His Holy Spirit—commending you as a newly begotten Christian into the hands of God the Father and Jesus Christ. The baptism is complete, and there is great rejoicing over you as a new brother (or sister) in Christ.

God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the angels will be rejoicing as well. Jesus said, “I tell you likewise, there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7).

You may prefer to have only a few close friends and family members attend, or you may choose to invite many brethren and family members. You may prefer to be alone with the minister, which is proper as well.

Some have asked about being re-baptized. Re-baptism is strictly administered on an individual basis and depends on the circumstances involved. For example, a person may be a candidate for re-baptism if they have come to see that they were not properly prepared at the time of their original baptism. Perhaps they did not understand baptism, or did not truly repent from the heart. Sometimes it is simply a case where the person baptized was too young and immature, but they have subsequently come to a greater level of understanding and preparedness because God still is working with them. Or, perhaps they were pressured into baptism, which should never be the case. Perhaps some have not had the required laying on of hands.

If one feels strongly that he or she needs to be re-baptized, this is between them and God—and they should not be denied such a request.

God’s greatest desire for you as an individual is that you become a member of His spiritual family—and baptism is the first step in that direction. If you are considering baptism, ask God for His wisdom and guidance. He earnestly desires to help you!

If you have read and understood the information in this booklet and feel you are ready for baptism, please contact us. We will be most happy to assist you in this life-changing event.

God bless you as you prepare for this most wonderful and momentous occasion!

Christian Biblical Church of God
Post Office Box 1442
Hollister, CA 95024-1442