What is Baptism?
At Harvest Bible Chapel York Region, we practice two ordinances – baptism and communion. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Water baptism is a public acknowledgment that the person is no longer dead in his/her sins, but now is alive in Christ. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:18). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become a new creation in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
What are the steps to be baptized?
You must be a follower of Jesus Christ.
If you are not sure what this means, please contact us at the church and we will explain this further.
Complete a Baptism Application
Please include a written testimony along with your Baptism application
Attend an interview with one of the church leaders to discuss your decision to be baptized.
Attend the scheduled baptismal service bringing with you your written testimony, a swimsuit and a towel.
- Baptism is commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. “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 28:19-20).
- Baptism was practiced by the Early Church in obedience to Christ and in identification with Him. “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41). Additional examples of baptism in the Early Church include Acts 8:33-38; 10:44-48; 16:31-33; and 18:8
Every mention of baptism in the Bible is associated with salvation. Our conclusion is that baptism is only for followers of Christ. New parents often wonder about having their baby baptized. As we look at the Bible, we find that there are no examples of infant baptism. All examples are based on personal faith.
Concerning children and baptism we know from experience that they often receive Christ at an early age. Since we wish for them to make sure of their salvation, we do not encourage children to be baptized until the parents and our children’s workers are assured they have a clear understanding of the message and their relationship with Jesus Christ. It is important that the child not only has received Christ, but that the child has chosen for himself/herself to be baptized. As a general rule, we encourage children to wait until their junior high years (age 11+) before being baptized.
The following information is helpful in knowing what happens on the day of the baptism:
Those being baptized are to bring a towel and swimsuit. A large, dark coloured T-shirt will be provided. Just prior to the service, all of those being baptized, those performing the baptizing and the baptismal workers meet to pray and answer any last minute questions. The workers are there to assist you in preparing. During the baptism itself, each candidate steps into the baptismal tank. The one performing the baptism will introduce the candidate to the congregation. The candidate will share a brief testimony, answer two questions confirming their salvation and their desire to be baptized, and then be baptized. The process of being baptized is simple. With gentle but firm support, the person being baptized slips under the water for a brief moment. The person baptizing assists the person in coming up out of the water. Baptism can be a very special event for family and friends who should be invited to witness this important day in your life.