BAPTISM AT THE BRIDGE


Believer’s Baptism at The Bridge is a very important and meaningful step to take in your new life with Christ after you have trusted in Christ to forgive your sins and bring you into a right relationship with God.

What is believer’s baptism?
Baptism is an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual reality—new life in Jesus Christ. Baptism pictures our identity or union with Jesus. It symbolizes our old life being crucified and buried with Him, as well as our resurrection with Christ into a brand new life. Baptism publicly proclaims to others our association with Jesus. It expresses our desire to be known as a follower of Jesus.

Does baptism save us?
No. We are saved by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. No religious rituals or works can ever make anyone right with God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is to salvation what a wedding ring is to a married person. Wearing wedding rings doesn’t make a couple married. What legally binds a husband and wife is the making of promises and the signing of a marriage license in the presence of God and witnesses. The rings are a visible sign of an invisible reality. Baptism, like wearing a wedding ring, is merely a public expression of love and commitment to another—in this case, to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

If baptism is not essential to salvation, why bother?Jesus made believer’s baptism a central part of the Church’s mission (Matthew 28:19-20). Thus, it is an issue of obedience. When we undergo baptism, we are following Christ’s own example (Mark 1:9).

Why does The Bridge baptize by immersion?
Some churches pour. Others sprinkle. But the primary meaning of the Greek word baptizo means to immerse. Immersion best pictures being buried and raised to new life (Romans 6:4). This is not a major doctrinal issue with us—at The Bridge we are less concerned with the mode of baptism, and more concerned that participants and spectators understand the meaning of this ancient and beautiful rite.

Who can baptize?
The New Testament does not give any restrictions regarding who should baptize a new believer. Because we believe that the Great Commission is given to all Christians, we encourage any member of The Bridge who has been instrumental in a person's coming to faith to baptize. This is often a pastor, a parent, a group leader, or a friend.

When should I be baptized?
The New Testament norm is for believers to undergo baptism immediately after putting faith in Christ (Acts 2:41; 8:38-39; 10:47- 48). It was normally practiced as a first step of obedience to Jesus. We encourage you to be baptized as soon as possible after trusting in Christ. Once a believer understands the importance of baptism, there is no scriptural reason for putting it off.

Where does The Bridge do its baptism services?
We utilize a beautiful horse trough in our worship center. At times we baptize in lakes and swimming pools. 

Why is baptism a public thing?
In the Bible, baptism was never a secret or private act (Acts 2:41) because a true disciple is not ashamed of Jesus. Rather, we want to share our joyous decision to follow Christ with family, friends, and fellow church members.

What if I was baptized before I understood the gospel?
Many folks were baptized as infants, a decision made by their parents, and to which they themselves were oblivious. Others were baptized as children, teens, or even adults (while still not understanding the gospel). Believer’s baptism is for those who have heard the gospel, understood it, and chosen to trust in Christ and follow Him. If you were baptized prior to understanding and believing the gospel, we encourage you to consider participating in believer’s baptism.

How often should I be baptized?
The New Testament presents baptism as one-time act, a first-step in a lifetime of following Christ. The act of going under the baptismal waters doesn’t save us or bring us closer to God, so multiple baptisms do not serve a useful purpose.

Should infants be baptized?
The gospels depict Jesus welcoming and blessing children. But there are no New Testament passages that either describe or prescribe infant baptism. We believe baptism is a step of obedience after one puts his/her trust in Jesus Christ, and since infants are unable to exercise saving faith, we do not baptize babies. We do, however, dedicate babies to the Lord (in the spirit of 1 Samuel 1:27-28). This special commitment ceremony (usually held once or twice a year at The Bridge) is, in a real sense, more of a parent dedication. A child’s parent(s) and the church body pledge together to spiritually nurture the child as he or she grows up, and we pray for his/her eventual salvation.

Should children be baptized?
If a child understands the gospel and has accepted God’s gracious offer of forgiveness and new life through Christ, then there is no reason that he or she should not be baptized. Our family ministry team leads a class for children under 6th grade who would like to be baptized and their parents. This four-week class is designed to make sure that a child understands the gospel, what baptism is (and is not), what the Lord’s Supper signifies, what the church is, and how to grow in one’s new relationship with Christ.

What is the baptism process at The Bridge?
Here is a helpful guide to the baptism process at The Bridge.