At Vineyard Community Church, baptism is a church-wide celebration of the redeeming work of God in the lives of people. As a church we join in celebrating new life in Christ with every person who is baptized. Baptism is one of two ordinances observed at the Vineyard, the other being communion (or, the Lord’s Supper). Though we understand baptism to be an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, we also believe that Christ is present offering grace and life to those who follow him in water baptism.
Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8). Neither baptism, nor any other religious act, has the power to save (Galatians 5:1-12). There is not enough water in the world to wash away our sins. As the words of an old hymn suggest, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”
Though not necessary for salvation, baptism points to the heart of the gospel and makes us aware that apart from God’s cleansing we are unclean and dead in our sins. Furthermore, baptism is essential for full obedience to Jesus’ command that those who believe in him should be baptized (Matthew 28:19; Acts 16:30-33).
Men, women, or *children who according to the guidelines given in scripture (e.g., Acts 2:38; 8:37) have repented and believed in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, for salvation.
*Note: It is important for children being baptized to have an understanding of the issues described in the preceding paragraph. Like everyone, they must come to a place of exercising personal faith in Christ prior to baptism (i.e., they must be old enough to have some understanding of sin, their need of a Savior, and what it means to trust in Christ and give their life to Him). It is the practice of the Gilbert Vineyard to dedicate infants and younger children to the Lord. If you would like more information about child dedication, please contact the church office.
In baptism we are identified with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-11).
We see this acted out symbolically in being taken under the surface of the water and being brought back out.
The literal passing through the waters also symbolizes the cleansing that takes place when the blood of Jesus is applied to our lives and we are joined with him in new life. Of course, the cleansing that takes place is one that happens from the inside out, but the water brings about an awareness of the forgiveness and new life we receive as we enter into a new covenant with Jesus.
Baptism is a spiritual blessing that empowers us for service. Through baptism, the Holy Spirit desires to fill and empower us, manifesting the presence and the power of the Kingdom. Those who truly belong to Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) and the Father is eager to reveal truth, give spiritual gifts and spiritual grace by the Holy Spirit to His children. (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 12:7; Ephesians 4:11-12).
Just as Jesus was commissioned by his Father at his baptism (Matthew 3:13-17), you will enter new dimensions of service through your baptism. Recognizing the price that was paid for your new life, you will receive a new level of commitment to serve Christ, His church, and His cause.
Baptisms take place at various times during the year in our Sunday morning services. Reminders are given from the platform several weeks in advance.