At Harmony, we believe Baptism is a public declaration of our faith in Jesus and so we encourage each person being baptised to include/invite their 'community' of friends, family and associates to share in the event. If you are wanting to be baptised, we would like to meet with you and talk about what baptism is before seeing you 'take the plunge'. We are hoping to have several Baptism 'services' throughout the course of the year. Watch here for dates.
Question: What is Baptism?
Christian denominations differ widely on their teachings about baptism. Some believe baptism accomplishes the washing away of sin. Others consider baptism a form of exorcism from evil spirits. Still others teach that baptism is an important step of obedience in the believer’s life, yet only an acknowledgment of the salvation experience already accomplished - baptism itself has no power to cleanse or save from sin. The following takes a look at the latter perspective called "Believer's Baptism:"
Answer: A general definition for the word baptism is “a rite of washing with water as a sign of religious purification and consecration.” This rite was practiced frequently in the Old Testament. It signified purity or cleansing from sin and devotion to God. Since baptism was first instituted in the Old Testament many have practiced it as a tradition yet have not fully understood its significance and meaning.
In the New Testament, the significance of baptism is
seen more clearly. John
the Baptist was sent by God to spread the news of the coming Messiah—Jesus
Christ. John was directed by God (John 1:33) to baptize those who accepted his
message. John’s baptizing is called “a baptism of repentance for the
forgiveness of sins.” Mark 1:4 (NIV).
Those baptized by John acknowledged their sins and professed their faith that
through the coming Messiah they would be forgiven. Baptism then is significant
in that it represents the forgiveness and cleansing from sin that comes through
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rachel Maher McFedries
The Purpose of Baptism:
·Water Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
·Water Baptism identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
“When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised," but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure--the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:11-12 (NLT)
“We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4 (NIV)
·Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance, which simply means “change.” It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him.
"Peter replied, 'Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church--about three thousand in all.” Acts 2:38, 41 (NLT)
·Water Baptism is a public testimony - the outward confession of an inward experience. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord.
·Water Baptism is a picture representing profound spiritual
Death - “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Resurrection - “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.” Romans 6:4-5 (NIV)
“He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God." Romans 6:10-13 (NLT)
Cleansing - “And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 3:21 (NIV)
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:11 (NIV)
So you want to be baptised?
Baptism is a celebration of the new life a believer has found in Jesus Christ. So what happens at a baptism? The person getting baptised will first have an interview with some of the leaders who can explain what baptism is in the weeks before the baptism. During this process, questions will be asked to make sure that the person wanting to be baptised understands the significance of what they are doing and the process will be explained. When this is understood, the next step is to be part of a baptism service. At Harmony we have held these at a private home of someone who has a swimming pool. (See the photos above). We would begin with one of the leaders giving a short introduction to baptism and welcoming friends and family (feel free to invite everyone you know). The person being baptised would then be given an opportunity to talk about how they got to this point. (A short testimony) The person leading the service would then ask them to get into the pool. Usually we would have two people, one on either side of the person getting baptised. One of these people could be a family member, friend or Church leader. You can wear whatever is comfortable for you in the pool. We have had wetsuits in there when it was cold. What happens next? You will be asked to stand in the water and the leader will say ______________(your name) "on the confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit". At this point you will be gently lowered into the water so you are fully submerged. (You might like to hold your nose!). When you come up out of the water there will be prayer for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We usually like to sing a song (you might like to pick one that is special to you) and then there is prayer from the congregation. This might include people sharing a scripture or special prayer for you. Following the baptism we like to stick around and celebrate together, so bring something to share for afternoon tea.
Recent Baptisms - Sunday the 21st of March 2010.