The First Steps...
Every journey has a beginning point. Our spiritual journey is no different. When a person decides to become a follower of Jesus, they invite Him to become the director of their lives. In a way, Jesus becomes our North Star by which we navigate through life.
The decision to follow Jesus is a crucial first step in our spiritual journey. Historically, the church has marked this big step by baptizing those who have made this decision.
Simply put, baptism is the outward sign of an inward spiritual reality. If you are at or near the beginning of your relationship to God through Jesus, a good next step would be to get baptized.
What is the significance of baptism?
Baptism is a defining moment in a new believer's life which holds special meaning. Here are a few things which baptism signifies:
1. Baptism is a way of expressing our identification with Jesus. Jesus himself was baptized, and when we go through the waters of baptism we are stating, in a powerful way, that we want to align our lives with His. (See Galatians 2:20 for what it means to be identified with Christ.)
2. Baptism is a way of acting out the story of the Gospel. Jesus was crucified and buried, and then raised back to life in order that we might enjoy a life that is connected to God. The act of being baptized under the water and back out again is a way of proclaiming and retelling the story of Jesus. (See Colossians 2:12.)
3. Baptism is a way of demonstrating obedience. Christ commands His Church to "make disciples... baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:20). By being baptized you are participating in the primary mission of the Church.
When we baptize someone at Cochrane Alliance Church, we immerse them completely under water. This best symbolizes the above three realities, it is consistent with the definition of the word ("baptize" literally means "to dip or sink"), and it is also in line with the biblical method for baptizing (for examples see Mark 1:10 and Acts 8:36-39).
Who should be baptized?
Our church practice is believer's baptism. That means we reserve baptism for those who haverepented of their sin and made the decisive decision to follow Jesus Christ. Anyone who has had these experiences can be baptized regardless of their level of spiritual maturity. You don't have to feel like you've "arrived" spiritually to be ready for baptism.
Where do I go from here?
At Cochrane Alliance Church we periodically conduct a Baptismal Class which goes into greater detail in regards to what is involved with getting baptized.
After the class a pastor will interview you to find out more about your story to get a better understanding of your reasons for getting baptized.
If you would like to attend a Baptismal Class, contact us at the church office to find out when the next class will be held. Also, if you would like to speak with a pastor and ask any questions you might have about this step on your spiritual journey, contact our Interim Lead Pastor, Mike Poettcker.