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Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:3-4 NLT)
Baptism is for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ's atoning work and become His disciple. In obedience to Christ's command and as a testimony of faith, a believer should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism symbolizes a person's union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a former way of life has been put to death and depicts a release from the mastery of sin. Coastal practices and teaches believer's baptism.
At Coastal we celebrate baptism. In fact, we dedicate our entire services to celebrate what God is doing in the lives of His children. Our lead Pastor Shaun often teaches, "baptism is an outward sign of an inward commitment to Christ."
If you have been saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ and desire to be obedient through baptism we would love to hear from you about what God is doing in your life. Whether you are a new Christian who desires to be baptized or you have been a Christian for a while and have yet to be baptized, we would be honored to play a part in what God is doing in your life.
As a symbol, baptism illustrates a number of significant realities:
Though grace is mysteriously mediated through the ordinance, it is not saving grace but rather sanctifying grace. We are more conformed to the image of Christ as we obey Him in the call to be baptized.
Without in any way diminishing the duty and delight of baptism for a believer, we must also warn against thinking which suggests that salvation is dependent upon baptism. The gospel is one of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:37–41 (ESV)
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV)
We practice what is called “believer’s” or “confessor’s” baptism, which means we only baptize those who believe and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Reading through Acts, we find baptism explicitly related to repentance, receiving the Word, believing and receiving the Holy Spirit. There is no explicit evidence to suggest that nonbelievers were baptized.
So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:41 (ESV)
But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12 (ESV)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27 (ESV)
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4 (ESV)
For those who were sprinkled or immersed at an earlier age, it is important to understand that we should only be baptized once. If you trusted in Christ at that time, your baptism is valid and need not, indeed should not, be repeated. If, however, you experienced sprinkling or immersion in water before being born again and trusting Christ, your experience was not baptism, and thus you need to be baptized. The question is therefore, “Was I truly trusting in Christ when I was baptized?” There should always be seasons of growth and greater periods of maturity in the life of those who have trusted in the gospel. Believers must not be re-baptized each time they experience greater joy and sanctification. However, if you believe that your original experience was prior to truly trusting in Christ as Lord and Savior, you should pursue obedience in this area by being baptized now.